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Iranian Journalist Wins 'Freedom Of Expression' Award For Blog

Iranian journalist, blogger, and women's rights activist Zhila Bani-Yaghoob has been awarded the Reporters Without Borders "Freedom of Expression" prize for her blog "We Are Journalists."

The Paris-based media watchdog has praised Bani-Yaghoob for being in the forefront of the struggle for freedom of expression in Iran.

"Her Persian-language blog deals with the news in Iran, social issues, and the subject of women," Reporters Without Borders said, and noted that Bani-Yaghoob and her family have paid a heavy price for her commitment.

Bani-Yaghoob and her husband Bahman Ahmadi Amouei, who is also a journalist, were arrested in the crackdown following the June 2009 presidential election. Bani-Yaghoob was released in August. Her husband was sentenced to five years in prison. He's currently on prison leave.

In her blog, Bani-Yaghoob has been writing about the plight of postelection detainees, including her husband.

In one of her blog entries that we translated and posted on "Persian Letters," she describes the difficult conditions prisoners are facing in Tehran's overcrowded Evin prison.

Reporters Without Borders has posted one of her letters to her jailed husband in which she promises him to turn "sorrow into power."

Last month, Google and Reporters Without Borders honored a collective of Iranian women bloggers and activists for their coverage of women's rights issues.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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