Christina Anyanwu

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Christina Anyanwu

"The 1998 UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was awarded by UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor to the Nigerian journalist Christina Anyanwu who is the publisher and editor in chief of "The Sunday Magazine" (Lagos, Nigeria). According to the World Press Freedom Committee and Reporters Sans Frontieres which proposed her for the prize, she is being held in detention in a prison in the north-east of Nigeria in particularly difficult conditions. She was arrested following the publication of an article about an attempted coup against the Nigerian government on March 1, 1995, and was condemned to life imprisonment by a special military tribunal in a trial held behind closed doors on July 4, 1995. Her sentence was commuted to 15 years on October 10, 1995. According to the same sources, her trial was marked by numerous irregularities. She was, notably, denied the right of appeal.Christina Anyanwu is one of four journalists held in detention since the attempted coup in her country where infringements of the rights of the journalists and freedom of the press are innumerable." [1]

"Christina Anyanwu was the founder, editor and publisher of Nigeria's “The Sunday Magazine”. She also held positions as a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) news anchor, and a former Imo state Information Commissioner. Anyanwu was imprisoned in 1995 for publishing an article about the authors of an attempted coup by the military government under the leadership of General Sani Abacha. She was later released after the death of Abacha. In 1995, she was awarded the Reporters Sans Frontieres-Foundation de France annual prize. In 1998, she along with 4 other women was honored by a U.S.-based women's media foundation for her courage on the job. Her other achievements and awards include the Courage in Journalism Award by the International Women's media foundation." [2]

"On October 21, 1998, she (along with 4 other women) was honored by a U.S.-based women's media foundation for her courage on the job." [3]

"She won the IWMF’s Courage Award in October 1995, soon after being jailed. She was freed three years later, after Abacha died. She spent two years in Virginia writing a book, Days of Terror, on her tortuous experience, then returned to Nigeria to testify before the country’s panel on human rights violations. She confronted the jailers who tried to blind her. After one of them apologized, she forgave him in a riveting move that was seen as a step toward reconciliation and healing.

"Today, as chief executive of Spectrum Broadcasting of Nigeria, she rolled out an FM radio station this past summer with a formal inauguration in October. From a sister company, she operates an independent production studio which produces a news feature program used by many media outlets. It is called TSM TV, after the defunct magazine she used to edit. For the most part, she has weaned herself from the parallel job of anchoring the show. She’s got her hands full with building her radio network." [4]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. 1998 - Christina Anyanwu, Nigeria, UNESCO, accessed October 3, 2007.
  2. Our People In History, Umu Igbo Unite, accessed October 4, 2007.
  3. NOTABLE WOMEN OF NIGERIA, Motherland Nigeria, accessed October 4, 2007.
  4. Fifteen Years of Courage: Chris Anyanwu, International Women's Media foundation, accessed October 4, 2007.
  5. NOTABLE WOMEN OF NIGERIA, Motherland Nigeria, accessed October 4, 2007.
  6. Alert, IFEX, accessed October 3, 2007.