WASHINGTON, July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Press Club will honor dozens of journalists on Wednesday, July 29 at its annual Awards Dinner. Among those recognized this year include three journalists who are currently being detained overseas. "Journalism has become an increasingly dangerous business in recent years," said John Hughes, president of the National Press Club. "We are looking to put a spotlight on the great work being done by journalists in the face of adversity – and to call attention to the cases of three journalists who are currently being wrongfully detained and who should be released immediately."
The following journalists will be recognized with brief remarks from the National Press Club President and with acceptance remarks made by persons who have agreed to speak for them in their absence. All three will be receiving the John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom named after a past president of the National Press Club. The Aubuchon Award winners are selected by the Press Freedom Committee of the National Press Club. In addition to recognition, Aubuchon Winners receive a modest cash prize.
Following is some background on the winners:
Jason Rezaian. The Tehran Bureau Chief for The Washington Post, Jason has been held for more than a year in Iran's Evin Prison. He is currently being tried in Iran's Revolutionary Court for charges unsupported by evidence. There are countless issues related to Jason's wrongful and outrageous detention which are well described in a petition filed by The Post to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Jason is a journalist and will be honored as such at the Awards Dinner. Jason's brother Ali will accept the award for Jason and Mary Beth Sheridan will speak for The Post.
Austin Tice. Austin is a freelance journalist who was kidnapped while reporting in Syria, Aug. 12, 2012. Austin was part of the McClatchy team whose coverage was recognized with a George Polk Award for their work in 2012. It is unclear at this time exactly who is holding Austin captive.
Khadija Ismayilova. Khadija is a reporter for Radio Free Europe in Baku, Azerbijan. She has been jailed since December, 2014 on insubstantial and shifting charges that seem to keep changing. It is widely believed that the charges against her relate to her reports that are critical of the government of Azerbijan.
Editors note: The National Press Club Journalism Awards Dinner are open to coverage by credentialed journalists. If you wish to cover contact Bill McCarren at 202-662-7534. The dinner and program begin at 7 p.m. The Aubuchon Press Freedom Awards will be later in the program, perhaps around 8 p.m. But this timing is just an estimate.
About the National Press Club Journalism Awards Dinner This is the 42nd National Press Club Journalism Awards Dinner. This is one of the premier annual events honoring journalists for their work. Most of the awards are endowed and produce a cash prize for the winner. The National Press Club also recognizes 2015 Scholarship Award Winners including winners of the Diversity Scholarship, The Feldman Scholarship and the Zimmerman Scholarship. The Awards and Scholarships programs are administered by the National Press Club Journalism Institute.
About the National Press Club Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,100 members worldwide representing nearly every leading news organization. More than 250,000 people visit the Club every year to attend some of the 2,000 events that take place here. The huge audience for these events is not just in the room but via broadcasts, webcasts and online coverage extends out to millions worldwide.
Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534 for the National Press Club