Newseum Announces Recipients of the 2016 Free Expression Awards

2016 Free Expression Awards

From left: James Risen, Boniface Mwangi and Abdallah bin Bayyah will be recognized at a special event April 19, 2016, at the Newseum.

A New York reporter, a Kenyan photojournalist and a premier Islamic scholar are among the recipients of the 2016 Free Expression Awards, which recognize those who exhibit passion for and dedication to free expression. The honorees are recognized for having taken personal or professional risks in sharing information with the public and have shown courage by pushing boundaries in artistic and media expression.

This year’s honorees will be recognized at a special event April 19, 2016, at the Newseum. Tickets are available for individuals and at table sponsorship levels and may be purchased on the Newseum’s website.

Honored with the Free Press Award, James Risen is a New York Times reporter who uncovered a failed CIA plot to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program in his 2006 book, “State of War.” The publication of the book launched a seven-year legal battle by the U.S. government to force him to reveal his sources or go to jail.

Receiving the Free Speech Award, Boniface Mwangi is a Kenyan photojournalist who has been arrested, beaten and blackmailed for his reporting and activism. When violence erupted in the aftermath of Kenya’s 2007 presidential election, Mwangi risked his life to document the bloodshed that killed more than 1,000 people.

The recipient of the Religious Freedom Award, Abdallah bin Bayyah, is president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies and one of the world’s foremost Islamic scholars. A leading voice for religious freedom in the Sunni Muslim world, bin Bayyah employs dialogue and education to combat ideologies that fuel extremism.

A fourth honoree will be named in the Arts and Entertainment category.

The selection committee for each category is chaired by an individual who has made a significant impact in that area, including: Freedom House President Mark P. Lagon for free speech; Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, for free press; minister and author Oliver “Buzz” Thomas for religious freedom; and actress Glenn Close for freedom of expression in arts and entertainment.


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