Egyptian human rights defender, journalist, and chief editor of the Al Bedaiah online newspaper Khaled Elbalshy won the 2017 Individual Activist award of the Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards on Monday.
“In a nation where media freedom is under constant attack, Khaled has boldly and relentlessly pursued the cause of free speech, despite facing personal judicial and online harassment,” the award website reads.
“He established the Front to Defend Journalists and Freedoms, which has succeeded in having several journalists released from detention. He has also sought every available platform to shine a light on violations by the government and share these with the world, and has actively mentored younger journalists to defend their own rights and the rights of others,” the website states.
As a former board member of the Journalists Syndicate, he was handed a year-long suspended sentence in March over accusations of inciting protests and disturbing public peace through social media networks.