National Press Club Honors Iranian Journalists Hamedi and Mohammadi With International Aubuchon Award

Following is a statement from National Press Club President Eileen O’Reilly and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Gil Klein naming Iranian women journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi as the 2023 International honorees for the John Aubuchon Award, the Club’s highest honor for press freedom.

“This has been a year of momentous struggle for press freedom in Iran. According to studies, as many as 90 journalists were arrested during the protests that followed the murder of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian morality police. Our honorees: Niloofar and Elaheh, created some of the journalism that told Mahsa’s story and captured the hearts of protestors and especially Iranian women.

Niloofar gained access to the hospital where Mahsa was taken after being beaten and took a photo of Mahsa’s parents hugging and crying. The photo went viral. She was arrested just days later. Elaheh was arrested for her coverage of Mahsa’s funeral and the unrest around it.

Both women attended their closed trials this week in Tehran. They are in prison awaiting sentencing on charges related to national security — which can carry a death sentence. We are deeply concerned for them and anticipate sentencing soon.

In the current climate the global journalism community has worked hard to raise awareness of Niloofar and Elaheh. They have been named to Time magazine’s Time 100 Most Influential People of 2023, among other recognition. This Aubuchon award is being announced at this time to help draw attention to these two brave women and to protest their brutal treatment. We adamantly call for their safety and release.

The Club recognizes two Aubuchon Awards annually – an International Award and a Domestic Award. The Domestic Award honoree, announced earlier this year, is Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal. Honorees will be recognized at the Club’s Fourth Estate Gala scheduled for this fall.”

About The National Press Club

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

About The National Press Club Journalism Institute

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged, global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. The NPCJI is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.

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