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CPJ TO HONOUR PRESS FREEDOM DEFENDERS

A Zimbabwean lawyer and journalists from Uzbekistan, China and Brazil will be honoured for courage at a special event next month aimed at paying tribute to individuals who have risked their lives to defend press freedom.

On 22 November 2005, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will present its 2005 International Press Freedom Awards to Beatrice Mtetwa, Galima Bukharbaeva, Shi Tao and Lúcio Flávio Pinto at a dinner in New York City.

Mtetwa has been arrested and beaten for defending independent journalists in Zimbabwean courts. She has won acquittals for several journalists facing criminal charges.

Bukharbaeva is a former Uzbekistan-based correspondent for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting who risked her life covering the massacre of innocent protestors in the city of Andijan last May. She now lives in exile in the United States but faces criminal charges in her home country.

Shi Tao is serving a 10-year prison sentence for "leaking state secrets abroad." He has been a freelance journalist for Internet publications and an editor for "Dangdai Shang Bao", a Chinese business newspaper.

Flávio Pinto is the publisher and editor of "Jornal Pessoal", a bi-monthly newspaper. He has been physically assaulted and threatened with death for reporting on drug trafficking, environmental destruction and corruption in Brazil's remote Amazon region.

For more information on the award winners, visit: http://www.cpj.org/awards05/awards_release_05.html

Pictures of the 2004 awards can be viewed here: http://www.cpj.org/awards04/dinner.html

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