International Person of the Year runners-up: Journalists across the world and Narges Mohammadi

International Person of the Year runners-up: Journalists across the world and Narges Mohammadi
Journalist Akram Al Satarri reports in Gaza. (Photo: Supplied)

We salute journalists from around the globe for standing up for truth, and Iranian human rights activist and Nobel laureate Narges Mohammadi.


In this year’s International Person of the Year category, Daily Maverick acknowledges and celebrates the efforts of journalists around the world to defend truth. Despite the progress that has been made worldwide when it comes to media freedom, there are still many media workers who face enormous risks when carrying out their work – especially those operating in conflict zones or under authoritarian regimes.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 261 journalists were murdered in connection with their work between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2023. In 204 (78%) of these cases, no one has been held to account. “As journalist murders continue to go unpunished in nearly 80% of cases globally, in both democracies and authoritarian countries, the message is clear: journalists are fair game,” said CPJ president Jodie Ginsberg.

“Murder is the ultimate form of censorship. Swift, transparent, independent local investigations are critical, and political will can change the course of justice to stem the pervasive impunity in cases of journalists killed for their work.”

Narges Mohammadi

Iranian human rights activist Narges ­Mohammadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2023 for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran, as well as her efforts to promote human rights and freedom for all.

Mohammadi is currently serving her third prison sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison for her work defending human rights, according to Time. She has reportedly experienced beatings and mistreatment in prison, and is barred from communicating with her children.

“If I were to return to the starting point again, I would make the same choices with more determination and will,” she is quoted as saying in Time.

Commenting on the “unbearable” experience of being separated from her children, Mohammadi said: “All these years, the dream of freedom and equality in my homeland and the realisation of human rights and democracy in my society have given meaning to this suffering for me.” DM

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.


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