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A Mexican journalist who travels with guards because of ongoing death threats, an Ethiopian publisher who gave birth while in jail and a group of Iraqi women reporters are this year's recipients of the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) Courage in Journalism Awards.

Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho has been the target of numerous death threats because of her stories on domestic violence, organised crime and political corruption. She was arrested for libel in December 2005 for "The Devils of Eden", her book on child pornography among Mexican politicians and businessmen. Cacho was released on bail, but still faces defamation charges.

Serkalem Fasil, the publisher of "Menilik", "Asqual" and "Satanaw" newspapers in Ethiopia, was one of eight journalists acquitted in April after 17 months in jail. Fasil was accused of genocide and treason for her "anti-state" coverage of public protests in the aftermath of the 2005 elections. Fasil gave birth to a premature and underweight son while in prison.

Six Iraqi women journalists of the Baghdad bureau of U.S. media group McClatchy - Shatha al-Awsy, Zaineb Obeid, Huda Ahmed, Ban Adil Sarhan, Alaa Majeed and Sahar Issa - "dodge gun battles and tiptoe around car bombs to do their jobs in the most dangerous country in the world for journalists," says IWMF.

Peta Thornycroft won the Lifetime Achievement Award for her stories on human rights abuses, farm occupation and government repression in Zimbabwe. A foreign correspondent for British, U.S. and South African media, she was arrested in 2002 while investigating reports of a campaign against the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change.

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(5 June 2007)

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