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The Associated Press October 6, 2011, 9:21AM ET

Committee to honor 4 journalists for courage

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday it has chosen four journalists for its 2011 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous journalism.

One edits an independent daily shut by officials amid protests in Bahrain. Another runs an opposition website in Belarus, editing it from exile to avoid imprisonment back home. A third escaped injury when a grenade was tossed into the offices of his weekly newspaper in the violent Mexican state of Sinaloa, and one more continues reporting on politics and corruption in his native Pakistan after being abducted and tortured.

The Committee to Protect Journalists also will honor longtime American television anchor and reporter Dan Rather with its Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in defending press freedom.

The committee said the four international journalists to be honored are Mansoor al-Jamri, of Al-Wasat newspaper in Bahrain; Natalya Radina, of Charter 97 website in Belarus; Javier Arturo Valdez Cardenas, of Riodoce weekly newspaper in Mexico; and Umar Cheema, of The News in Pakistan.

All have faced recrimination for their work, including harassment, assault, kidnapping, torture, and censorship.

"We are proud to honor these journalists, whose tenacious reporting continues in defiance of severe censorship tactics meant to silence inconvenient truths," said committee's executive director, Joel Simon.

The awards will be presented at the committee's annual awards ceremony in New York on Nov. 22.

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