Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida has been named 71st World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute for the October 2016 coverage of a civil-military huddle that raised national controversy.
A columnist and an editor, Almeida will be presented with the award at a special ceremony during the IPI’s annual world congress and general assembly in Geneva, Switzerland scheduled for June 5.
He will be the second Pakistani to receive the award. Previously, former managing director of Pakistan Press International, Aslam Ali, was named as the world press freedom hero.
“IPI’s World Press Freedom Hero Award honours journalists who have made significant contributions to the promotion of press freedom, particularly in the face of great personal risk,” reads the statement issued by the institute.
“A Rhodes scholar with a law degree from Oxford University, Almeida briefly worked as a lawyer in Pakistan before entering journalism. After joining Dawn, a highly respected English-language publication, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the country’s most brilliant analysts.”
“I am grateful to the IPI-IMS jury for its acknowledgment of the fight to preserve and protect media freedom in Pakistan,” IPI quoted Almeida.
“Almeida embodied the dedication to press freedom and courageous public-interest journalism shared by all of IPI’s Heroes,” said IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi.
“Cyril Almeida has demonstrated tremendous resolve in tackling – at great risk to himself – deeply contentious issues that are nevertheless of central importance to Pakistan’s democracy,” she said.