IAWRT Norway ushers Nobel Peace Prize with a gathering with women journalists who experienced detention and exile. Three of IAWRT International’s bravest journalists, who all have had to flee because of their journalism, participated with their stories at the meeting in the Press House in Oslo, 9 December, a day before the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov.
Violet Gonda, IAWRT President, shared IAWRT’s experience with working and campaigning for the freedom of IAWRT members Frenchie Mae Cumpio and Lady Ann Salem and working for the evacuation of IAWRT Afghanistan members. But Gonda herself has experienced persecution from the state, forcing her to go on exile for 20 years and only able to return to Zimbabwe in 2018, only to face harassment in her coverage of the government that toppled the Mugabe regime. She is back in UK and has launched her well-known series “Hot Seat” online.
Najiba Ayubi, IAWRT Afghanistan chapter president, now in US after fleeing Taliban rule, is just starting her life in exile. Ayubi, editor at Killid Group, had faced threats in the practice of her journalism before. She worked to encourage and support women journalists in a male-dominated media, and her fight for freedom of expression before, during and after Taliban’s takeover. She very reluctantly had to flee from Afghanistan, as the Taliban came knocking at her door.
Lady Ann Salem, IAWRT Communication Officer, was arrested on trumped-up charges. She is now leading a new pilot project using experience from her own detention to establish a Digital Safe House Project for journalists under threat.