News weekly 'Ir' wins Peter Greste freedom of speech award

Latvia's trailblazing news weekly Ir magazine has been given the inaugural Peter Greste Freedom of Speech Award, named after the renowned Latvian-Australian journalist.

Ir won the award for its work this year publishing the so-called "oligarch conversations", which we have reported extensively here on LSM and which continue to be the subject of a parliamentary inquiry.

The award was given December 1 at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and co-sponsored by the Australian embassy.

According to the organizers:

"The aim of the Peter Greste Freedom of Speech award is to reward people who have made a substantial contribution towards defending and enhancing Freedom of Speech in the Baltics."

Lithuania's 15 min newspaper was also a winner of the 500 euro prize for its work exposing ties between a prominent local businessman and the Gazprom Russian energy giant. No award was made to any Estonian individual or entity, the judges decided.

"Freedom of expression, like muscles in the human body, has to be exercised every day to stay alive and strong. We at Ir will continue this work," said the magazine's editor-in-chief, Nellija Ločmele in collecting the award.

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