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RSF honours Israeli reporter and Chechen newspaper

The 2009 Reporters Without Borders - FNAC Press Freedom Prize was awarded on 3 December to Israeli newspaper reporter Amira Hass and the Chechen quarterly "Dosh".

Hass was given the "2009 Journalist of the Year" prize for her independent and courageous reporting from the Gaza Strip for the Israeli daily "Ha'aretz" during the Israeli offensive from December 2008 to January 2009.

Although she had the support of her newspaper, "Israeli readers find it hard to accept a different version of events from what the authorities offer," she said. "I cannot say I am pleased to get this prize because my articles did not manage to make people question their views. I think every day of the survivors in Gaza who tell me they envy their relatives who died during the military operation."

The Chechen magazine "Dosh" was honoured in the Media category for its fight for the right to inform and be informed. The magazine has been reporting on politics and current affairs in Chechnya and other parts of the Russian Caucasus since 2003.

Editors Israpil Shavkhalov and Abdulkhazhi Duduyev received the prize. Shavkhalov said: "We think today of the people with whom we should have been celebrating this prize - Magomed Yevloyev, Natalia Estemirova and Anna Politkovskaya."

A special tribute was given to Christian Poveda, a French photographer and filmmaker who was murdered in El Salvador on 2 September.

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