- The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) presented its 1999 International Press Freedom Awards to five journalists—from Colombia, Cuba, Kosovo and Pakistan—for their courage and independence in reporting the news.
- The honorees, who have been beaten, jailed, or had their lives threatened because of their work, received the awards at a formal dinner ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Tuesday, November 23rd.
- Jugnu Mohsin and Najam Sethi are one amongst five of the winners of the Ninth Annual International Press Freedom Awards.
- Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin, the husband and wife team that runs The Friday Times are journalistic heroes in Pakistan. Mohsin, the publisher, and her husband Sethi, the chief editor of the weekly paper, fought to assert freedom of the press in the face of the recently-deposed Sharif government’s increasingly brutal efforts to control the media. In May 1999, Sethi was dragged from his bedroom in the middle of the night by government agents who beat him, gagged him and then held him without charge for nearly a month.
- During her husband’s imprisonment, Jugnu Mohsin courageously refused to succumb to official intimidation. She continued to put out The Friday Timeswhile waging a campaign to learn Sethi’s whereabouts and win his release.
- The Friday Timesis an equal opportunity offender that has locked horns with all of Pakistan’s leaders since its inception ten years ago. The paper repeatedly angered former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto by calling on them to answer corruption charges.
- Sethi’s arrest galvanized the public and the local independent press, who saw the Sharif government’s actions as a crude attempt to stifle political dissent in Pakistan.