Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored journalists from around the world on World Press Freedom Day and congratulated UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Laureate Ahmad Zeidabadi. At the May 3rd prize ceremony held in Washington, DC, Under Secretary Maria Otero highlighted State Department policies and programs on new media and internet freedom and praised Zeidabadi, "Through his courageous work, Ahmad represents the scores of civil society actors who are using connection technologies to speak out for democracy, human rights and accountability."
Among the most poignant moments of the three-day public-private sponsored World Press Freedom Day global conference packed with international media professionals and expert analysts , was the reading of a statement by Laureate Ahmad Zeidabadi, currently imprisoned in Iran:
"I would like to make it clear that in the performance of my profession, I had no means but my pen and my speech and that in using those means, I never went beyond the narrow and limited confines of the Iranian government's laws and regulations. But, in violation of their own laws and regulations, they have imposed pain and suffering beyond my endurance -- pain and suffering resembling those of a person who is crucified for weeks or buried alive."
You can find Zeidabadi's full statement here, and read World Press Freedom Day statements by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.