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Dawit Isaak to receive UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, 2017

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Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist has been chosen for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017 dedicated to promoting press freedom. The award is to be presented on May 3, 2017.

  • The decision was made for his critical and insightful reporting.
  • 14 independent international jury of media professionals recommended Dawit Isaak in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression for this award.

Dawit Isaak to receive UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017About UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

  • UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is created in 1997 and was awarded for the persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the defense with promotion of press freedom.
  • The prize money worth USD 45000 is awarded each year on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.
  • The first ever UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was won by Gao Yu from China.
  • In 2016 it was won by Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan.

Early life of Dawit Isaak

Dawit Isaak is a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist and writer, born on October 28, 1964 in Asmara, Ethiopian Empire.

  • Isaak moved in 1987 to Sweden, where he later became a citizen of Sweden.
  • After the independence of Eritrea in 1993, he returned to his homeland to become one of the founders and reporters of
  • He had been held in prison since 2001 without trial and is considered a traitor by the Eritrean government.
  • Isaak was released from jail only to see a doctor on November 19, 2005.
  • In his life at prison, he has written a Novel called ‘Hope’.

Awards won by Dawit Isaak

  • Isaak was awarded a prize in memory of Anna Politkovskaya by the Swedish National Press Club in 2007.
  • Isaak was awarded the Kurt Tucholsky Prize by the Swedish P.E.N. Association in 2009.
  • He was awarded the Norwegian “Ytringsfrihetsprisen” the Freedom of Expression Prize, 2009 in the year 2010.
  • Isaak received the Golden Pen of Freedom Award of the World Association of Newspapers


  • Capital: Asmara.
  • Currency: Nakfa.
  • President: Isaias Afwerki.