Şık won the prize because he is 'an ardent defender of freedom of expression, and has devoted his career to denouncing corruption and human rights abuses.'
PARIS - Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık was named winner of the 2014 UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
"An international, independent jury of media professionals" named " Turkish investigative journalist Ahmet Şık" the winner because he is "an ardent defender of freedom of expression, and has devoted his career to denouncing corruption and human rights abuses."
Şık, a freelance journalist, photographer and writer, reported for the newspapers, Cumhuriyet, Evrensel, Yeni Yuzyil and Radikal. In 2011, he was arrested and detained on charges of being linked to Ergenekon, just months before the planned publication of his latest book, "The Imam's Army".
The book investigates the controversial Gulen movement of the U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen.
Şık was later released from detention in March 2012 while awaiting trial and resumed his professional activities.
He will be awarded a US$25,000 as part of UNESCO celebrations for World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. This year, the award ceremony will take place at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on Friday, 2 May.
The UNESCO' Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom prize was established in 1997 by UNESCO’s Executive Board. It honors a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.
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