• Afghan woman journalist wins "courage" award

Afghan woman journalist wins "courage" award

15 May 2013

Prominent Afghan journalist Najiba Ayubi has won an international "Courage in Journalism" award.

The award, from the International Women's Media Foundation ( IWMF) recognised Ayubi's bravery in refusing to tone down her reporting, despite repeated threats.

Ayubi is Director of the Killid Group, which runs eight local radio stations known for public service broadcasting and two weekly nationwide magazines.  She leads a team of reporters working in print, broadcast and online media.  She has been a leading independent voice in the Afghan media for more than twenty years.

The IWMF says that for almost a decade Ayubi has received threatening phone calls and letters.  It says, "Threats are always tied to her critical reporting and her refusal, as Director of a news organization, to censor the stories that are published and broadcast on her watch."

Among other things, it says,  gunmen have been sent to her home, people have threatened to harm her family and she has been publicly defamed.

However, it adds, "In each case she has faced her attackers and has rejected calls to limit her work."

Ayubi co-founded the Afghan Independent Media Consortium and the Freedom of Expression Initiative, both intended to provide resources and support for independent journalists in Afghanistan.

She is the third Afghan woman to receive the IWMF "Courage in Journalism" award,  following Farida Nekzad in 2008 and Sharifa Akhlas in 1999.