AEJ-Bulgaria receives Journalists of the Year 2017 award

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human-of-the-year-awardThe Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ-Bulgaria) received the Journalists of the Year 2017 award during the 10th Human of the Year awards ceremony, organized by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee.
This is the first time since the launch of the awards when the journalistic prize goes not to an individual journalist but to an entire journalistic organization.
AEJ-Bulgaria received the award in recognition of its efforts to defend free journalism and protect journalists under pressure, its fight against fake news, and its 2017 studies on the state of the media environment in the country.
The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee gave this year’s Human of the Year award to Fr Paolo Cortezi – a Catholic priest living in the northern Bulgarian town of Belene who in early 2017 offered shelter to a Syrian refugee family legally residing in the country. Some of the locals staged protests against Cortezi, and he received threats and was eventually recalled to Italy.
The special award for overall contribution to the protection of human rights in Bulgaria went posthumously to Kristian Takov – a lawyer, university lecturer and politician who even in the last months of his life, despite his severe health problems, continued to use his public visibility to talk about the problems in the country’s judicial, legal, educational, and bank systems and the media.