14ymedio, Havana, 14 July 2022 — Cuban Abraham Jiménez Enoa, co-founder of the independent magazine El Estornudo, is among the last three winners of the International Press Freedom award granted annually by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The award is shared with him in 2022 by journalist Niyaz Abdullah, from Iraqi Kurdistan; Ukrainian Sevgil Musaieva, director of Ukrainska Pravda, and Vietnamese Pham Doan Trang, who has been imprisoned since last December.
About Jiménez Enoa, who has lived in Barcelona, Spain, since 2021, CPJ emphasizes that he is “a prominent voice” within the Cuban media, that he “provides new perspectives on the challenges for independent journalists” and that he “reports on issues rarely covered by the state media, including racism in Cuba.”
The Committee recalls that in retaliation for his work as a journalist, Jiménez Enoa has had to face interrogations by State Security and the cut off of access to the Internet, when he lived in Cuba.
In October 2020, the political police threatened to imprison him if he continued to publish in The Washington Post, and to prosecute him for “usurpation of functions*,” months after which he took the path of exile.
With its award, CPJ recognizes that the island “continues to be one of the most challenging environments in the Americas for the press” and that “a new generation of Cuban journalists who just a few years ago saw a ray of hope for their independent projects face the harsh reality of new restrictions and censorship that make practicing journalism in Cuba more dangerous than ever.”
As for the other winners, the organization highlights the nine years in prison to which Pham Doan Trang was sentenced, in a summary trial, under article 117 of the Criminal Code of Vietnam, which provides for the prohibition of broadcasting news “against the State.” In Vietnam another 23 journalists are in jail, according to CPJ’s census, which mentions that nation as one of the five countries in the world where the most professionals are imprisoned.
With regards to Kurdish freelance reporter Niyaz Abdullah, the Committee highlights the coverage of the repression against Kurdish journalists in 2021, which earned her harassment by the authorities of that territory in northern Iraq and forced her into exile in France.
Finally, CPJ ponders the work done by Sevgil Musaieva at the head of Ukrainska Pravda, especially after Russia’s invasion of his country, from which an English version of the newspaper was launched: Ukrainian Truth.
*Translator’s note: “Usurpation of functions” as a term in Cuban law equivalent to “practicing without a license,” and is illegal. In addition, the law requires ‘licenses’ for work not commonly ’licensed’ in other countries, including journalism.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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