The Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award was launched in 2017 with the aim to reward organisations and individuals for their substantial contribution towards defending and enhancing freedom of speech in the Baltic States.
The chairman of the jury is Peter Greste, an Australian journalist who, while working for Al Jazeera in Cairo, was unfairly accused of supporting a terrorist organisation, arrested and spent a year in prison there. Professor Greste has Latvian roots and actively supports freedom of speech in the region and globally.
For ensuring that freedom of speech is not a privilege of the strongest and loudest but an absolute
necessity for all groups of society, the Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Latvia was awarded to
Kaspars Zālītis – an LGBT rights activist and leader of the Dzīvesbiedri (Spouses) movement.
For journalists insisting on the right to cover court proceedings closely related to organised crime, the
Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Estonia was awarded to Katariina Krjutshkova and Koit
Brinkman of business daily Äripäev.
For coverage of the lives of the less privileged groups in society, the Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech
Award in Lithuania was given to Elena Reimeryte for her series of reports shown on public broadcaster
internet portal LRT.lt. Her reporting on homosexual fathers in the United Kingdom spurred discussion,
but also a sharp reaction from the critics in the society.
For becoming the strongest source of in-depth journalism in the Baltics, producing courageous and innovative advances in journalism that protect the freedom of expression, The Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Latvia was presented to the Baltic Investigative journalism organization Re:Baltica.
For her consistent efforts in producing powerful material on difficult and unpopular issues on the Estonian healthcare system, The Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Estonia was presented to journalist Kadri Ibrus, of the Eesti Päevaleht newspaper.
For the collective effort of journalists fighting restrictions on access to information imposed by the Lithuanian government, The Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Lithuania was presented to the Lithuanian journalist community.
For their investigative reporting on a high level politician and a corruption scheme The Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Lithuania was presented to Dovydas Pancerovas and Šarūnas Černiauskas, the investigative journalist team from 15min online media outlet.
For her investigations and reporting on high level political corruption and oligarchs in magazine IR, Indra Sprance was awarded The Greste Baltic Freedom of Speech Award in Latvia.
In addition to public recognition and gratitude, the winners of the Greste Freedom of Speech Award received a symbolic monetary gift of 500 euros.
The Award was organised with the generous support of the Anne-Marie and Gustaf Ander Foundation, the Australian Embassy in Sweden, the Embassy of Sweden in Latvia, the Embassy of Sweden in Estonia, the Embassy of Finland in Latvia, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, UNESCO, and the University of Queensland, The French Institute and the French Embassy in Latvia.