Nicaraguan journalist Lucía Pineda, who spent almost six months in prison for her criticisms of the government of Daniel Ortega, has won the International Courage in Journalism Award.
The news was announced Tuesday by PEN, an organization of journalists and writers that had nominated Pineda for the award. The prize, awarded by the International Foundation for Women Journalists (IWMF), will be handed to Pineda in October at a gala in New York.
The award was created “to honor the brave journalists who report on taboo topics, work in environments hostile to women and share difficult truths,” according to the organization.
“It is gratifying and exciting that they reward you for doing your job of informing the public,” Pineda said via videoconference from Costa Rica, where she resides after leaving Nicaraguan prison on June 11.
Pineda, 45 years old and with 24 years of professional practice, has dual Nicaraguan and Costa Rican nationality and was released under an amnesty law. She had been in prison since December and had been accused of “inciting hatred.”
The journalist was the editor of the now-closed 100% Noticias television channel, which spearheaded coverage of the anti-government protests that broke out in April 2018.
The owner and director of the channel, Miguel Mora, was also arrested.
The IWMF has awarded the award to more than 100 journalists in 56 countries.
In addition to Pineda, journalists Anna Babinets and Nastya Stanko from Ukraine will receive the prize; Anna Nimiriano, from South Sudan; and the British journalist Liz Sly, head of the Beirut office of the Washington Post.