STA, 3 May 2020 - Slovenian journalist Blaž Zgaga is one of 17 recipients of this year's Freedom of Speech Award given out by the German public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle to journalists from 14 countries who have been persecuted for coronavirus reporting. All other recipients come from non-EU countries.
Zgaga, a freelance journalist and a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, received the award for being harassed by the government and receiving anonymous death threats, the jury said.
Other recipients come from Serbia, Belarus, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Turkey, Jordan, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, and three from China.
Deutsche Welle has been giving out the award annually to initiatives and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to human rights and freedom of speech.
Previous award winners include the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, the White House Correspondents' Association, and the Mexican journalist and author Anabel Hernández.
MP of the senior coalition Democrats (SDS) Branko Grims responded to the news on Twitter by saying that the fact that Zgaga received the award proved only that Deutsche Welle staff did not understand Slovenian. "I think that giving Blaž Zgaga a freedom of speech award is like giving Metod Trobec a women's rights award."
He was referring to a serial killer and rapist, whose victims were women.