World Association of News Publishers

Omar Belchouet

Omar Belchouet


Omar Belhouchet is an Algerian journalist who has been prosecuted by his government on numerous occasions. He publishes the daily newspaper El Watan (English: "The Nation"), which he founded in 1990 after he and nineteen colleagues left the FLN government-owned newspaper El Moudjahid (English: "The Holy Warrior").

Belhouchet's work has received praise, awards, and support from numerous press freedom organizations. In 1993, he won the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the following year, he won the annual press freedom prize of the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers. He has also won the Maghreb Liberty Prize, the Golden Pen of Freedom Award of the World Association of Newspapers, the Rob Bakker Memorial Award in 1997, and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human Rights Award in 1998. In 2000, the International Press Institute selected him as one of 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past half-century.

When UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor protested one of Belhouchet's arrests, he also praised Belhouchet as "a journalist known for his professional competence and his devotion to press freedom"

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