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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Press Freedom in Ethiopia, Paraguay, Malaysia, and Syria: A Dialogue with CPJ's 2015 International Press Freedom Awardees

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 10:00am
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


Briefing Series on the Shrinking Space for Civil Society

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Senate Human Rights Caucus for a briefing and dialogue with the 2015 recipients of the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award.

Journalists foster accountability through their reporting on politics, crime, corruption and human rights abuses. However, in many countries journalists work in a climate of fear, intimidation and censorship generated by repressive governments and, increasingly, by illegal non-state actors and criminal organizations. 

Each year, the Committee to Protect Journalists recognizes courageous journalists from around the world with its International Press Freedom Award. The 2015 awardees are all from countries where press freedom is under stark attack:

  • Zone 9 bloggers (Ethiopia)
  • Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, “Zunar” (Malaysia)
  • Cándido Figueredo Ruíz (Paraguay)
  • Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (Syria)

These journalists have endured death threats, physical attacks, legal harassment, imprisonment, and exile in the course of their work. They will share their insights and concerns about the state of media freedom in their respective countries, and provide recommendations as to how the U.S. government, and especially the Congress, can strengthen and support media freedom in an increasingly contentious and conflict-ridden world.

The briefing will be open to members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public and the media. For any questions, please contact Elias Flamenco (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or or Carson Middleton (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or

Hosted by:

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Rep. James P. McGovern                          Rep. Joseph R. Pitts
  Co-Chair, TLHRC                                 Co-Chair, TLHRC

The Senate Human Rights Caucus

Senator Chris Coons                    Senator Mark Kirk
Co-Chair                                     Co-Chair



  • Candido Figueredo Ruiz, Paraguay
  • Abdel Aziz Al-Hamza, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, Syria 
  • Soleyana Gebrichael, Zone 9 Bloggers, Ethiopia
  • Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, "Zunar," Malaysia


  • Dr. Courtney C. Radsch, Committee to Protect Journalists

Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission


114th Congress