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Burma journalist honored

'Courage in Journalism' Award for Burmese Woman
By MIN LWIN Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Irrawaddy

A Burmese woman journalist, Aye Aye Win, has been awarded the International Women’s Media Foundation “Courage in Journalism” prize for 2008.

The Foundation said it had chosen Aye Aye Win, 54, for the award because of her coverage of such events as last September’s demonstrations, in the face of great danger to herself. Aye Aye Win reports for the international news agency Associated Press.

In a telephone interview with The Irrawaddy on Wednesday, Aye Aye Win said she thought the Foundation had chosen her for the award because “they regard me as hard-working,” rather than for courage.

The Foundation said in a press release that Aye Aye Win worked under constant surveillance by the authorities. Police or military intelligence agents kept a watch on her home and her telephone was often tapped.

Often, to elude the authorities, Aye Aye Win disguises herself, changing her hairstyle and even wearing men’s clothes.

She had accompanied opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi until being barred by the authorities. She also followed closely details of the arrest of activists and members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

The Foundation’s “Courage in Journalism” award is presented annually to women journalists who “showed extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting the news under dangerous or difficult circumstances.”

Two other women journalists were selected for the 2008 award—Fraida Nekzad from Afghanistan and Sevgul Uludag from Cyprus.

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