2020 RSF Press Freedom Award Ceremony

This year the RSF Press Freedom Award Ceremony will be held in Asia for the first time, with Taipei being the host city to highlight Taiwan’s emerging image as the beacon of press freedom in the region. This is especially significant as press freedom continues to deteriorate in Hong Kong and China. A special prize was also bestowed on Hong Kong’s Apple Daily founder, Jimmy Lai.

Launched in 1992, RSF’s annual Press Freedom Prize has been honoring independent journalists who have faced threats or imprisonment for their work and/or dared challenge the abuse of power. The Press Freedom Prize is awarded in three categories: Courage, Independence and Impact.

The Prize for Courage is awarded to journalists, media or NGOs who demonstrate courage in the practice, defense or promotion of journalism in a hostile environment despite threats to their freedom or safety.

The Prize for Impact is awarded to journalists, media or NGOs whose work has led to concrete improvement in journalistic freedom, independence and pluralism, or to an increase in awareness of these matters.

The Prize for Independence is awarded to journalists, media or NGOs for resisting pressure (including financial, political, economic or religious pressure) or because of the values and rules that enable them to resist.

Considering the sharp decline in press freedom in Hong Kong due to pressure from the Chinese regime, the jury wished to provide particular support to Jimmy Lai, founder of one of the few Hong Kong media which still dares to openly criticize the Chinese regime and which widely covered last year’s pro-democracy protests. The award was received by his son, Sebastian Lai, as his father, accused of “fraud”, was arrested again last week and is in detention in Hong Kong.

The follow is Jimmy Lai’s pre-recorded address for the award ceremony: