On Monday night in Los Angeles, the International Women’s Media Foundation will honor four brave women journalists who have risked their lives to cover news in their countries.
“These courageous women have endured terrible hardships, without questioning their own safety,” said IWMF Board Co-Chair Barbara Cochran. “We are honored to tell the world their stories.”
What follows is my interview with Parisa Hafezi, bureau chief for Reuters in Iran, who is being honored for her courage to report on the violent protests in Iran after the 2009 election.
After the election, riot police armed with electric batons attacked Parisa as she struggled to cover the bloodshed and chaos on the streets of Tehran. “We had to be strong and take the risks to report the stories,” says Parisa.
Parisa has endured beatings, interrogations, harrassment and raids on her office and home to cover the the opposition movement against the Iranian regime. Despite the hazards that have threatened her life and the life of her family, she has fought efforts to censor reporting and has battled against tough restrictions on women in the media. While many local and foreign journalists fled the country after the disputed 2009 elections, Parisa stayed.