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During a press conference held today at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen launched the 13th edition of the "Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press" together with Ms Gisèle Khoury-Kassir, President of the Samir Kassir Foundation, and representatives from the Lebanese media.
The "Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press", which has been awarded by the European Union since 2006, honours the Lebanese journalist and writer Samir Kassir who was assassinated in 2005. The competition for the Award has attracted since its creation more than 2,000 candidates the Middle East, the Gulf and North Africa.
Ambassador Lassen said: "Freedom of the press and the safety of journalists and media actors are key priorities for the European Union both globally as well as here in the Middle East and Lebanon. We have for years funded various national and regional programmes to promote professional journalism and the capacities of media outlets across the region in order to further develop their professionalism, quality and ethical standards and the Samir Kassir Award seeks to promote freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the Middle East and North Africa." "This is the 13th year we award the prize, and sadly there is still a big need for it as the situation in many of the region's countries has only deteriorated," she added.
Mrs Kassir warned against "the decline in press freedom in Lebanon given the increase in violations targeting journalists and social media activists." She stressed that "we will not relinquish our freedom under the pretext of stability" encouraging the journalists to participate widely in this year's competition.
The contest is open to candidates from North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf. The deadline for sending in contributions is 10 April 2018. Three awards will be granted for the best:
- Opinion Article
- Investigative Article
- Audiovisual News Report
The contributions must be centred on one or more of the following topics: rule of law, human rights, good governance, fight against corruption, freedom of expression, democratic development and citizen participation. The winner of each of the three categories will receive a prize of €10,000.
The jury will be composed of seven voting members from Arab and European media and one observer representing the European Union. The names of the jury members will be communicated during the prize-awarding ceremony which will take place on 31 May 2018 in Beirut.
The contest regulations, application forms and details of the candidature file are available on the following website: www.samirkassiraward.org