OREANDA-NEWS. The German-Norwegian Independent Journalism Award in Eastern Europe Free Media Awards will be presented in Hamburg on November 1. The awards will be presented immediately for two years, since last year it was decided to postpone the ceremony due to the pandemic, the Hamburg Zeit-Stiftung foundation announced on Tuesday, October 26. Together with the German organization, the prize is awarded by the Norwegian foundation Stiftelsen Fritt Ord.

The winners of the Free Media Awards for 2021 were Belarusian journalists and media – reporter Tut.by Katerina Borisevich, the extremist publication in Belarus Tut.by, Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), Belsat TV channel journalists Katerina Andreeva and Daria Chultsova sentenced to prison, as well as Nasha Niva journalist Natalia Lubnevskaya.

«This year, the winners of the Free Media Awards have provided us with some of the best and most daring reports from Belarus. Moreover, the imprisonment of some prize winners demonstrates the consequences faced by Belarusian citizens defending the rights of society, freedom and democracy», said Michael Göring, Chairman of the Board of the Zeit Foundation.

In 2020, the Free Media Awards were awarded to the Russian media Mediazona and Project, the Ukrainian TV program Schemes, as well as Azerbaijani photojournalist Aziz Karimov and Ukrainian journalist Stanislav Aseev. The award recognizes courageous journalists and media outlets who fearlessly expose corruption and abuse of power, not allowing themselves to be intimidated by the authorities, said Michael Goering.

In 2021, Mediazona and the Project were recognized by the Russian authorities as «foreign agents». The amount of the monetary part of the award is not called.