Google honours Iranian women bloggers

PARIS — Internet giant Google on Thursday joined a top journalists' rights group in rewarding a collective of Iranian women bloggers for their reporting on last year's post-election unrest.

The online journalists of women's rights blog were given the "Net Citizen" award, a new prize by Google and French media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to defend freedom of expression online.

Dozens of the Iranian site's contributors have been detained for reporting online on huge anti-government demonstrations that broke out amid claims of fraud in Iran's election, RSF said.

"The Iranian women's movement has always shown resistance... Now the movement is bringing its experience and methods of working democratically into cyberspace," said one of its members, Parvin Adalan, accepting the award at Google's Paris offices.

Google and RSF said in a statement that the site, formed in 2006, "has become a point of reference for information on women's rights in Iranian society," and "Iranian cyber-feminists have created new spaces for expression."

"Female online journalists show the world the abuses of power suffered in recent months by demonstrators and the population in general" in Iran, they said.

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