Journalists, Activists Shortlisted for 2015 Freedom of Expression Award


The Index on Censorship 2015 Freedom of Expression Awards has shortlisted journalists and activists working at the forefront of tackling censorship and threats to freedom of expression.

The winners of the 15th edition of the awards will be announced and honoured at a ceremony on March 18 at the Barbican in London.

The awards shine a spotlight on journalist and activist who are fighting to speak out in the most dangerous and difficult of conditions on issues of censorship and free expression.

17 candidates for the awards were shortlisted from over 2,000 nominees including Lirio Abbate of Italy; Safa Al Ahmad of Saudi Arabia; Rafael Marques de Morais of Angola; and Echo of Moscow of Russia. They were nominated under the Journalism category. According to organizers; “Many of the 17 shortlisted nominees are regularly targeted by authorities or by criminal and extremist groups for their work: some face regular death threats, others criminal prosecution.

A journalist under 24-hour protection because of his reports into the Italian mafia, an Ecuadorian cartoonist facing prosecution for depicting government corruption, and lawyers who challenged Turkey – and won – over its social media ban, are among those shortlisted for the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards this year.”

Other categories and nominees are:

“Bonil” (Ecuador);
Panti Bliss (Ireland);
Songhoy Blues (Mali);
“El Haqed” (Morocco)

Amran Abdundi (Kenya/Somalia);
Yaman Akdeniz and Kerem Altiparmak (Turkey);
Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar (Afghanistan);
Zentrum Demokratische Kultur (Germany);
The Union of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia (Russia)

Digital Activism and Tamás Bodoky (Hungary);
Nico Sell (USA);
Syria Tracker (Syria);
Valor por Tamaulipas (Mexico)

Sponsors include

  • Doughty Street Chambers for the Campaign Category
  • Google for Digital Activism
  • The Guardian for Journalism and Arts

The judges for this year’s awards are digital campaigner and entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox; bestselling Turkish novelist Elif Shafak; journalist and campaigner Mariane Pearl; and human rights lawyer Keir Starmer.