Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık awarded UNESCO’S World Press Freedom Prize
Ahmet Şık will be handed his award during a ceremony in Paris on May 2.Journalist Ahmet Şık is to be awarded with the prestigious Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize by UNESCO.
Describing Şık as an “ardent defender of freedom of expression,” UNESCO stressed that the veteran journalist had spent 11 months in prison while awaiting trial as part of the OdaTV case, into an online news portal known for its fierce criticism of government policies.
“[Şık] has devoted his career to denouncing corruption and human rights abuses,” the statement said.
The journalist has worked for several prominent Turkish media outlets, including dailies Cumhuriyet, Evrensel and Radikal.
Şık’s detention came after the publication of his book, titled “The Imam’s Army,” on the organization of the U.S-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s followers within the police and the judiciary. The book was seized and banned after publication and many claimed that it was the reason for Şık’s long detention.
The UNESCO jury that granted the prize was composed of a number of important journalists and reporters from across the world, including Le Monde reporter Florence Aubenas and the editor-in-chief of ProPublica, Paul Steiger.
The award ceremony will take place at the institution’s headquarters in Paris on May 2.