BEIRUT, 9th February, 2016 (WAM) — During a press conference held today at the Delegation of the European Union in Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen launched the 11th edition of the Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press, in the presence of Gisele Khoury-Kassir, President of the Samir Kassir Foundation.

The Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press, which has been given by the European Union since 2006, honours the Lebanese journalist and writer Samir Kassir who was assassinated in 2005. Since its creation, the award has attracted more than 1,300 candidates from the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Lassen said, “Freedom of expression is the foundation for any democracy and a core value of the European Union. With the Samir Kassir Award, we hope to contribute to further raising the standards of journalism in this region.”

Khoury-Kassir highlighted, “Voltaire once said, ‘I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it’. The Samir Kassir Award and the Foundation bearing his name will defend your right to inalienable freedom, whether in your beliefs, your opinions or your mind.”

The contest is open to candidates from the Middle East, North Arica and the Gulf. The deadline for sending in contributions is April 10th 2016. Three awards will be granted for the best opinion article, investigative article, and audiovisual reporting.