Media Advocacy Group Reporters Without Borders Honors Journalists

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Reporters Without Borders awarded its top media freedom prizes Tuesday to journalists from Myanmar and Cuba, a Russian newspaper and an association of reporters from Congo.

The Paris-based media advocacy group issues the annual prizes jointly with the Fondation de France, a private foundation. The awards go to a journalist, a media outlet, a defender of press freedoms and a cyber dissident. Each receives $2,900.

The winner in the reporting category was 76-year-old journalist U Win Tin of Myanmar. Imprisoned since his 1989 conviction for “subversion” and “anti-government propaganda,” Win Tin is now the longest-serving political prisoner in the Southeast Asian country, which has been under military rule since 1962.

The media prize went to Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, whose top journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, was shot and killed Oct. 7.

The biweekly paper, which published Politkovskaya’s stories on the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya, “is known for its investigations which regularly criticize the corruption of the Russian administration,” the organization said.

Journalist in Danger, an association of reporters in Congo, was honored for leading the fight for press freedom throughout Africa.

The cyber dissident prize went to Guillermo Farinas Hernandez, director of the independent press agency Cubanacan Press.

In February, Farinas Hernandez went on a hunger strike to try to secure uncensored access to the Internet in Cuba, Reporters Without Borders said. Authorities in the island nation ended the strike, but Hernandez has been in intensive care with heart and kidney problems since August.

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