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CJFE honours persecuted journalists and news outlet

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is honouring reporter Jila Baniyaghoub of Iran and the Russian news outlet "Novaya Gazeta" with the 2009 International Press Freedom Awards for "extraordinary courage and overcoming tremendous odds to report the news." CJFE is also honouring Canadian writer and journalist Terry Gould for his documentation of attacks on the media, despite great personal risk, with the Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award.

"Novaya Gazeta" is an independent newspaper in Russia that challenges the state and uncovers corruption and human rights abuses. Four of its journalists have been murdered. Other journalists on staff have been beaten, arrested and continue to be watched closely by the police. Unbowed, editor Dmitry Muratov and deputy editor Sergei Sokolov continue to publish.

Jila Baniyaghoub is an Iranian editor, journalist and women's rights activist who has been beaten, arrested and imprisoned for covering women's rights and state oppression. Recently, she was arrested in the sweep of dissenting voices in Iran following the disputed June elections.

Terry Gould is a freelance investigative journalist and author of "Murder without Borders: Dying for the Story in the World's Most Dangerous Places." This recent book looks at impunity, media repression and censorship, examining the lives of seven journalists killed because of their work. Gould travelled to some of the most dangerous countries for journalists: Colombia, Russia, Philippines, Bangladesh and Iraq to interview the journalists' families, friends and sometimes their murderers.

The 12th Annual International Press Freedom Awards Gala takes place on 9 December in Toronto.

In addition, on 27 October, CJFE saluted Paul Pritchard with the first CJFE Citizen Journalism Award. Pritchard filmed four police officers using a taser on Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski in 2007, which resulted in Dziekanski's death. "Without the tape we wouldn't have had the journalistic investigation, the year-long inquiry into the incident, and we wouldn't have seen the safer use of the taser by police departments across the country," said CJFE.

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