- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Russian film director and writer Alexei Simonov has been honored for campaigning for freedom of speech and the rights of journalists in Russia.

Simonov is head of the independent Glasnost Defense Foundation, which works to protect and support journalists who have been persecuted or imprisoned in Russia. He is also member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a non-governmental watchdog organization.

Simonov received 10,000 euros ($12,000) on Tuesday night as he won the Freedom of Speech Award from the International Association of Press Clubs at a gala dinner at the palace in Warsaw’s Lazienki Park. The award is given to people and organizations who defend and promote the freedom of speech.

The first award, in 2013, went to the Reporters Without Borders organization.

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