Date of project: Annual since 2006
Implementing Partner: Samir Kassir Foundation
Press freedom in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Gulf regions is constantly under attack, with increasing acts of repression and intimidation being recorded. Journalists are in dire need of support and protection to be able to pursue their reporting duties and commit to quality journalism without giving in to the pressure and threats of those they report about.
The European Union is committed to combating violence, persecution, harassment and intimidation of individuals, including journalists and other media actors. It considers their exercise of the right to freedom of expression online and offline as paramount, and strives to combat impunity for such crimes.
To this end, the EU works on promoting laws and practices that protect freedom of opinion and expression. It also promotes media freedom and pluralism, respect of human rights in cyberspace and other information and communication technologies.
Organised every year since 2006, the Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press honours the memory of the Lebanese journalist Samir Kassir, who was assassinated on June 2nd, 2005 in Beirut. Funded by the European Union, the Award honours journalists who have distinguished themselves through the quality of their work and their commitment to human rights, democracy, good governance and civic engagement.