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Syrian named 'journalist of the year' by press watchdog

The prominent Syrian activist-turned journalist has been documenting the conflict since 2011 [Facebook]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2016

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Press watchdog, Reporters without Borders awarded a 29-year-old Syrian reporter with the 'journalist of the year' award for his work in the world's current deadliest nation for journalism.
A Syrian freelance journalist won one of the world's top press awards on Monday, for reporting from some of the most perilous zones in his country's five-year-old war.

Hadi Abdullah was awarded with the Reporters without Borders (RSF) TV5 Monde prize - the second to go to a Syrian for two years running.

The 29-year-old "has unhesitatingly ventured into danger zones, where Western journalists are no longer willing to go, to film and interview civilians," RSF said.

Abdullah, who was briefly abducted in January by the Al-Nusra Front jihadist group, "has had frequent brushes with death," the press freedom group added.

His cameraman was killed and Abdullah himself was seriously injured when a bomb exploded in the place where they staying.

"We are very happy to award the prize to journalists and media that have demonstrated professionalism and courage in countries where journalists often risk their lives to do their work," RSF Secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

The award will be presented in Strasbourg Tuesday on the sidelines of the World Forum for Democracy, a meeting organised by the Council of Europe. Abdullah will address the meeting via a video message.

In 2015, the award went to Syrian journalist Zaina Erhaim for her reports from the besieged city of Aleppo.

A recent list of 'press freedom predators' published by RSF placed Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad among other world leaders accused of clamping down on journalists.

The list suggests more than 200 journalists have been killed by the government, as well as armed rebels and militant groups, in Syria since the conflict began in 2011, while stating at least 30 are imprisoned in government jails.

RSF ranked Syria at 177th on its assessment of 180 countries for press freedom, adding it is currently the world's deadliest country for journalists.

 

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