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PEN CANADA AWARDS HONOUR CHINESE, CANADIAN JOURNALISTS

PEN Canada is honouring investigative reporters from China and Canada with awards recognising their courage in defending freedom of expression.

Chinese journalist Jiang Weiping is the recipient of the inaugural PEN Canada One Humanity Award for his work in exposing high-level corruption in China.

The new award honours a writer, journalist, academic or PEN Canada honourary member whose work "reflects a belief in the peaceful expression of ideas and has transcended the boundaries of national divides and inspired connections across cultures."

Jiang spent nearly six years in prison after a court convicted him of "revealing state secrets." Jiang had written articles for the Hong Kong-based magazine "Qianshao" ("Frontline") exposing high-level government corruption in north-eastern China.

Following sustained pressure from international free expression groups, he was released in January 2006, 11 months before his sentence was due to expire. He currently works as a calligrapher in the city of Dalian. Jiang will receive CAD$5,000 (US$4,500) for the award.

Canadian reporter Kim Bolan is the recipient of the PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Prize, which recognises writers and journalists who have "displayed exceptional courage and integrity in the interest of freedom of expression."

Bolan has devoted much of her career to reporting on the 1985 Air India tragedy in which 329 Canadians perished after a bomb exploded aboard Flight 182. She was put on a death list for reporting on the story. Bolan is a reporter for the "Vancouver Sun" and is the author of "Loss of Faith: How the Air India Bombers Got Away with Murder."

For more information, visit:
- PEN Canada: http://www.pencanada.ca