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Assange, Montarjemi & Rui Pinto win GUE/NGL whistleblower prize

Winners of GUE/NGL Award for “Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information” announced.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Nestlé whistleblower Yasmine Motarjemi and Football Leaks’ Rui Pinto have been jointly awarded for the second annual GUE/NGL prize for ‘Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information’.

Named in honour of the murdered Maltese investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, the three have been honoured for their work in exposing the truth, and for their courage in risking their careers and personal freedom.

In 2018, the murdered Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and LuxLeaks whistleblower Raphaël Halet became the first recipients of this award.

You can watch the ceremony today from 18h00-19h15 via this link:

2019 winners

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and currently in police custody in the UK. He is fighting extradition to the United States after being expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy last week.

Yasmine Motarjemi, former Vice President and whistleblower on Nestlé’s food safety lapses.

Rui Pinto, Football Leaks whistleblower who is currently detained in Portugal due to an arrest warrant.

Also nominated:         

Katya Mateva, whistleblower on Bulgarian Ministry of Justice’s Golden Visa scam      

Luis Gonzalo Segura, author and whistleblower on corruption and wrongdoing in the Spanish army

Howard Wilkinson, Danske Bank whistleblower

Commenting on the award, MEP Stelios Kouloglou (SYRIZA, Greece) said:

“Two of the three whistleblowers who have won this award are currently in jail.”

“This underlines the importance of the fight for the protection of whistleblowers - and also the importance of our award´.”
 
“No other political group has initiated such an award, and the European Parliament’s promise to set up a similar initiative has never been implemented,” said the Greek MEP.

For Miguel Urbán (Podemos, Spain), the arrest of Assange underlines just how perilous the situation facing whistleblowers is:

"We have a very strong list of nominees but also three very deserving winners in Yasmine Montarjemi, Rui Pinto and Julian Assange.”

“I strongly condemn the expulsion of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and his subsequent detention by the British police.”

“We support the statements made by the United Nations rapporteur related to this case, who had urged against the expulsion of the founder of Wikileaks from the embassy as this would endanger Assange’s life if he is then extradited to the United States. Therefore, our first petition is addressed to the British government so that the extradition will not happen.

For full biographies of the nominees and winners, please click here, and for the jury here.  
 

GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Ben Leung
BXL +32 228 32299 | STB +33 3881 74097

Mobile  +32 470 880 965
benjamin.leung@europarl.europa.eu

 

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