New Delhi: Noted Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi has been selected for the 2009 Golden Pen of Freedom for his outstanding contribution to freedom of the press under difficult circumstances and constant personal danger.
Sethi, editor of Friday Times and Daily Times in Pakistan, will be conferred the award next March in Hyderabad when the city hosts the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum, the global summit meetings of the world’s press.
The award has been constituted by World Association of Newspapers (WAN).
“Sethi, whose newspapers advocate liberal and secular ideas in a country too often torn by religious extremism, was honoured for his outstanding defence and promotion of press freedom under difficult circumstances and constant personal danger,” a statement said.
Due to the editorial policies of his newspapers which condemn autocracy and religious fundamentalism, it said, Sethi has been at odds with both Pakistani authorities and religious groups for many years.
He has been threatened with death by the Taliban and other radical Muslim groups, and has been jailed and beaten for offending the government.
“Sethi has chosen, in a region fraught with such dangers, to brave them. His commitment to providing truthful and independent coverage in this region, despite great personal danger and sacrifice, is in the best traditions of journalism,” the statement said.