Jokowi Witnesses Handing Over of Guillermo Cano Award

President Joko Widodo (fourth right) poses with UNESCO General Director Irina Bokova (fourth left), Former East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta (third right), son of UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017 awardee Dawit Isaak, Bethlehem Isaak Third left), Minister of State Secretary Pratikno (second left), Minister of Comminication and Information Rudiantara (second right), Chairman of the Press Council Yosep Adi Prasetyo (right) and Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Sveriges Radio (Swedish Radio) Cilla Benkï (left) at the awarding ceremony of World Press Freedom Day 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta, Wednesday.


Jakarta, 7 Syaban 1438/4 May 2017 (MINA) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) witnessed the handing over of the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award to a family representative of Eritrean-born Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak during the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebrations here on Wednesday.

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“I would like to congratulate Isaak and thank his daughter Mrs Bethlehem for having received the award on his behalf. I would also like to congratulate all the members of the press and laud the worldwide press freedom,” Antaa News quoted Jokowi as saying in his speech at the gala dinner during the WPFD, which was held at the Jakarta Convention Center, to hand over the award.

According to him, the role of media was so great in the course of formation of a dynamic democracy.

The challenges faced now by press people around the world are to tackle hoax news or fake news.

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Jokowi also requested the mainstream media not to promote hoax news that mislead the public.

Since the reform era, the role of media in Indonesia is also very important in maintaining open governance and combating corruption and political freedom.

“I would like to inform the members of the national press and international press that we cannot (tackle the hoax and fake news) without your participation,” the president explained.

Isaak won the award for courage, commitment, and the struggle to defend freedom of speech. His award was received by his daughter Bethlehem Isaak.

Isaak was arrested in Sept 2001 during a riot against the media. His whereabouts are still unknown.

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The $25,000 Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. It is funded by the Cano Foundation (Colombia) and the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (Finland). (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)