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17 laureates conferred with DW Freedom of Speech Award 2020; Journalist Siddharth Varadarajan from India among them

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Journalist Siddharth Varadarajan Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech AwardOn the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020, i.e. on May 3, 2020, 17 journalists from 14 countries have been named for Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award 2020 who have disappeared or been arrested or threatened because of their reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • From China, three journalists have been selected for this award, while from Turkey two journalists are named for the same.
  • They are being honoured on behalf of global media professionals who are publishing independent information about the coronavirus pandemic while working under difficult conditions.

Winner from India: Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire

Siddharth Varadarajan, one of the founding editors of non-profit online newspage The Wire, was handed a notice for appearance by a police team on April 10, 2020 following a story about a politician violating COVID-19 guidelines by participating in a religious ceremony. The Wire was accused of “causing a riot” and “leading to panic.”

  • In 2010, he received the Ramnath Goenka award for Journalist of the Year (Print).
  • In 2017, he was conferred with Shorenstein Journalism Award for outstanding reporting and for significant contributions to promoting freedom of the press in the Asia-Pacific region.

Following is the full list of winners DW Freedom of Speech Award 2020

Sr. No. Winner Country
1 Siddharth Varadarajan India
2 Ana Lalic Serbia
3 BlazZgaga Slovenia


4 SergejSazuk Belarus
5 Elena Milashina Russia
6 Darvinson Rojas Venezuela
7 Mohammad Mosaed Iran
8 Beatific Gumbwanda Zimbabwe
9 David MusisiKaryankolo Uganda
10 NurcanBaysal Turkey
11 İsmetCigit Turkey
12 Fares Sayegh Jordan
13 Sovann Rithy Cambodia
14 Maria Victoria Beltran The Philippines
15 Chen Qiushi China
16 Li Zehua China
17 Fang Bin China

About Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award:

Since 2015, German public news outlet Deutsche Welle has presented the Freedom of Speech Award annually to a person or initiative that has shown outstanding commitment to human rights and freedom of expression in the media.

  • Citizens of any country have the right of access to fact-based information and critical findings. Any form of censorship may result in casualties and any attempts to criminalise coverage of the current situation clearly violate the freedom of expression. It is only due to the efforts of these journalists that the general public gets aware of the real happenings.
  • DW Director General– Peter Limbourg

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