LOS ANGELES: Organisers of an annual award from the family of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, have decided to award this year’s prize to satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, they said Monday.
The Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism has been bestowed by the Los Angeles Press Club in conjunction with Judea and Ruth Pearl since their son’s death in 2002.
“We grieve and stand united with the French people, and with the families of all victims of the Paris massacre,” the couple said while announcing the 2015 prize. “We are humbled by their sacrifice which has re-awakened the world to a deadly peril that must be confronted and eliminated.”
Los Angeles Press Club President Robert Kovacik added: “No act of terrorism can stop freedom of speech. Giving the Daniel Pearl Award to Charlie Hebdo is a strong message to that effect.”
Gerard Biard, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, whose Paris headquarters were attacked by Islamist gunmen last week, killing 12, said: “We are deeply honored. Of course, we’ll accept,” the statement added.
The award will be presented by Pearl’s parents at a gala dinner in Los Angeles on June 28, they said.
“The brave hearts of Charlie Hebdo have been protecting our freedoms for several decades, alone, it is now our duty to protect their vision for generations to come, together,” said Judea and Ruth Pearl.
“The Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism symbolises this commitment.”
Past recipients of the award have included US journalists Richard Engel and Bob Woodruff, as well as Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in October 2006.
Pearl was murdered by militants in Pakistan after being kidnapped in Karachi in early 2002.