Lebanese Journalist May Chidiac has been awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize. Chidiac was victim of a murder attempt last year.
Chidiac, one of the most popular presenters of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) was honored for “her professionalism and direct and open approach in a country traumatized by years of war,” UNESCO said.
This approach almost cost her her life when she lost a hand and her left leg in a car bomb attack on September 2005. Chidiac was proposed as a candidate for the prize by the Lebanese Minister of Culture.
The attack came five months after Samir Kassir, journalist at An-Nahar, was murdered in a similar action. An-Nahar publisher Gebran Tueni was later assassinated in December 2005. The three journalists were known for their criticism of the Syrian role in Lebanon
The press freedom prize, worth USD 25,000, is named after a Colombian journalist assassinated in 1987 after denouncing drug barons in his country. It honors those promoting and defending freedom of expression anywhere in the world, especially if they risk their life.