Europe Award Winner Donates Prize Money to IFJ Safety Fund

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed the decision of a prize-winning European Union spokesman to donate his award money of 1000 EUR to the safety of journalists - through the IFJ International Safety fund.

Alessandro Butticé, head of communications of the European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) has been selected as winner of the "career" prize for the "international journalism: press attaché" 2009 competition.

He will receive the prize next month in Italy and he has directed that the funds be used to "provide support to journalists and media who require legal support in the face of violence and intimidation for the exercise of their work."

"We congratulate Mr. Butticé and we appreciate his solidarity with journalists on the frontline around the world, many of whom rely upon the  IFJ Safety Fund as a lifeline in times of hardship," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Many of these journalists are targeted for their work exposing corruption and maladministration in their own countries."

Mr. Butticé receives the award in recognition of his leadership as OLAF spokesperson in developing innovative ways to communicate the anti-fraud work of the European Union. He has also championed better relations with working journalists and police who are investigating corruption.

He will receive the award during a ceremony to take place in Jesi on 17 October.

The IFJ Safety Fund, established in 1992 and funded by journalists, provides humanitarian assistance to journalists in need as a result of their work, including medical and legal expenses.

To date, beneficiaries of the Safety Fund come from the following countries : Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia (Kosovo and Serbia).

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide