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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kholodov Gets Posthumous Press Award

The International Press Center and Club has honored a human rights activist, two press-freedom monitors and a Russian investigative reporter who was murdered on the job, at the organization's second annual Freedom of the Press awards ceremony.


At the awards ceremony Saturday, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki released its annual report accusing governments in much of the former Soviet Union of censoring the press, harassing dissidents and suppressing demonstrations.


The father of Dmitry Kholodov, a Moskovsky Komsomolets reporter who was killed by a bomb in October while reporting on corruption in the Russian army, accepted the award for his son at the awards banquet in the Radisson Slavjanskaya Hotel.


Tributes to Kholodov's death dominated the event, and most speakers referred to the killing as a reminder of the need to fight constantly to maintain freedom of the press.


Press freedom "is a freedom we fought for," said Sergei Kovalyov, human rights adviser to President Boris Yeltsin and one of the evening's keynote speakers, to an audience of 400 Russian and foreign guests. "But it is not a one-time conquest. We see every day how this freedom is under constant attack."


Peter Necarsulmer, the chairman of the press club, also presented an award to Alexei Simonov, chairman of the Glasnost Defense Foundation, which publicizes censorship and other attacks on the press in Russia's regions.


Another award went to John Seigenthaler, chairman of The Freedom Forum, a Washington-based organization funded by the Gannet newspaper chain.


Erika Dailey, Moscow director of Human Rights Watch/Helsinki and recipient of the fourth award, presented a damning report on human rights in the former Soviet Union.


"Just about every known form of human-rights abuse was found" in Eastern Europe "in a depressing patchwork with few bright colors," the group wrote.


The report singled out Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for "enforcing complete censorship of the press, prohibiting free expression and association, and keeping dissenters under constant surveillance."