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Sudan Editor Wins Golden Pen of Freedom Award from WAN

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World Association of Newspapers (WAN) Golden Pen winner

Press Release
April 11, 2005

Mahjoub Mohamed Salah, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Sudan’s oldest independent newspaper, has been awarded the 2005 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers.

Mr Salah, 76, has been fighting for freedom of expression in Sudan for over half a century.

He began his journalistic career in 1949 and in 1958 established the Al-Ayam newspaper. It was closed twice by the military government in the 1960s, nationalised in 1970, and not returned to its owners until 1986.

The newspaper was again closed by the government in 1989 for ten years.
Since re-opening in 2000, the newspaper and its staff have been
subjected to imprisonment, fines, confiscation and closure. The most
recent closure was for three months beginning in November 2003. Mr Salah
has been jailed numerous times for his journalistic activities.

The Golden Pen award, which will be presented on Monday, 30 May, 2005,
at the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Seoul, Korea,
recognises Mr Salah’s outstanding defence and promotion of press
freedom.

"In a country with one of the most restrictive media environments in
Africa, Mr Salah is a pioneer and a hero for the independent press,"
said the Board of the Paris-based WAN, meeting in London. "Despite great
hardships, he has never lost faith in a free and independent press in
Sudan, and his newspaper has been a training ground for like-minded
journalists. The worldwide newspaper community awards him this honour in
recognition of his lifetime achievements."

Mr Salah began his journalistic career at The Sudan Star in 1949. He is
a founding member of the Federation of Arab Journalists and the African
Journalists Union, and has served as General Secretary of the Sudanese
Journalists Union.

In addition to his journalistic activities, Mr Salah is a founding
member of the Sudan First Forum (2003) and the Committee for National Reconciliation (2003).

- The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,
defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000
newspapers; its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations,
individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 13 news agencies and
ten regional and world-wide press groups.

- Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: lkilman@wan.asso.fr.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
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