Iran International was named the winner of the 2024 Geneva Summit Courage Award

Iran International Named Winner of Geneva Summit's '2024 Courage Award'

Tuesday, 05/07/2024

Iran International was named the winner of the 2024 Geneva Summit Courage Award on Tuesday for "fearlessly” uncovering the daily “abuses of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

The award will be presented during an upcoming event, according to the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

Iran International is receiving the award almost 45 days after its TV host Pouria Zeraati was stabbed while leaving his London residence for work. He survived the attack with leg injuries and decided to return to work after a couple of days in the hospital. As of yet, it is unclear who the attackers were and what their motives were. But it wasn't long after the news broke that fingers were pointed at the Iranian regime, given the Islamic Republic's history of plotting against dissidents as well as foreign officials.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Minister David Cameron condemned the attack on him, respectively, which happened following multiple threats from Iranian intelligence aimed at journalists of Iran International.

The Iranian government has long threatened Iran International, with several journalists at the network facing imminent attacks in the years 2022 and 2023. In March, a leaked document revealed that Tehran’s Revolutionary Court convicted 44 foreign-based journalists and media activists in absentia two years ago over the allegation of “propaganda against the government,” which included Iran International's Aliasghar Ramezanpour.

Iran International directors Mehdi Parpanchi (L) and Aliasghar Ramezanpour with Pouria Zeraati during his TV show on April 5, 2024

Last year, Iran International's offices were temporarily relocated from London to Washington after threats escalated to the point where domestic security services were unable to ensure the safety of the employees. Just before the incident, Iran's intelligence minister had branded Iran International a terrorist organization, paving the way for all sorts of action against the broadcaster and its journalists.

According to Freedom House, Iran has one of the worst records for press freedom in the world, with more than 70 journalists arrested since the 2022 uprising alone. Among those were the two women who first reported the arrest and subsequent death of Mahsa Amini, whose death in morality police custody sparked the most significant uprising since the Islamic Republic foundation. Figures suggest many more have been arrested amid Iran's secretive regime.

The honor for Iran International will take place at the summit which raises awareness about urgent human rights situations that require global action and provides a platform for human rights activists, former political prisoners, and heroes to give testimony about their struggles for democracy and freedom. It aims to build an international community that can challenge dictatorships.

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