An Iranian journalist who was imprisoned after exposing government involvement in the murders of dissidents has been awarded the 2010 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty by the CATO Institute.
Akbar Ganji, who spent six years in a Tehran prison, received $500,000 with the award, named for the late Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman.
In 1999, Ganji wrote a series of articles that investigated the murders of five dissidents of the Tehran regime. Later published as a book, The Dungeon of Ghosts, the articles linked the murders to officials in the Iranian government, including former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Ganji was arrested for spreading propaganda against the Islamic system and "damaging national security." He spent much of his six year sentence in solitary confinement.
"Akbar Ganji endured immense suffering fighting for the cause of liberty in Iran," said Edward H. Crane, president of the Cato Institute. "Considering what he went through, no one would have blamed him for giving up, but he continued to think and write about ways to make Iran a better place for his people, risking his personal freedom and safety with every word."
Established in 2002 and presented every two years, the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty honors significant contributions to advancing individual liberty. Friedman passed away in November of 2006.
The Friedman Prize biennial dinner and award presentation will be held at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C, on May 13, 2010.
To register for the dinner go to 2010 Biennial Dinner Registration.