CAIRO: Outspoken editor of Al-Dostour independent newspaper was awarded the 2008 Gebran Tueni Award for journalism by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).
The Gebran Tueni Award is an annual prize offered by the WAN, honoring editors and publishers in the Arab world for their distinguished work in journalism.
The prize is created in remembrance of Gebran Tueni, Lebanese publisher and WAN board member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in December 2005.
WAN awarded Eissa for his work in the Egyptian press, and his fight for freedom of expression.
Gamal Eid, executive director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), told Daily News Egypt that the ANHRI was one of the bodies that recommended Eissa.
ANHRI supported Eissa s nomination for the prize, Eid said, this award is overdue to this great journalist who has fought hard for freedom of expression and the press.
He went on to praise Al-Dostour for its oppositional stance against the government.
Eissa will receive the award during the third Arab Free Press Forum that will take place in Beirut next week. The award grants Eissa a scholarship of around a ?10,000 to study journalism and leadership courses offered by WAN.
Al-Dostour was established in 1995, but was shut down by the government in 1998 and reopened in 2005. Starting as a weekly, Al-Dostour is now published daily.
Last October, Eissa was handed down a two-month jail sentence for publishing rumors about President Hosni Mubarak s health but received a presidential pardon a few days after the verdict.
Eissa is currently appealing the verdict he received in another case for allegedly publishing false information on the president s health along with Adel Hammouda, chief editor of Al-Fagr weekly newspaper, Wael El-Ebrashi, chief editor of Sout El-Omma weekly newspaper, and Abdel Halim Qandil, chief editor of Al-Karama weekly newspaper.
Gebran Tueni was a distinguished member in the WAN s Press Freedom Committee. The Gebran Tueni award was created by WAN and the Tueni family to honor all journalists who work for the independence and freedom of the press worldwide.
The 2006 award was granted to Nadia Al-Saqqaf, chief editor of Yemen Times newspaper, while in 2007 Michel Hajji Georgiou, a political analyst who writes for the Lebanese French daily newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour, was its recipient.