Mahjoub Mohamed Salih

Mahjoub Mohamed Salih is a journalist from Sudan, which the World Association of Newspapers calls "one of the most restrictive media environments on the African continent". Salih became a journalist in 1949 after joining the Sudanese independence movement from Egypt. He founded the oldest independent newspaper in Sudan, Al Ayam, in 1958. Twice closed by the Sudanese government during the 1960s, it became a product of it in 1970. Salih did not publish it again until 1986. This was not the end of his troubles with the law, as it was again closed from 1989 to 2000.

In 2003, he began covering the War in Darfur. For this, his newspapers were stopped, punished, and from November 2003 to January 2004, closed down. However, Sudanese authorities claimed it was due to Al-Ayem's failure to pay their taxes. In any case, its journalists have be fined, and sensitive or controversial issues have been confiscated by Sudanese authorities. Salih personally has been incarcerated "numerous" times for publishing such issues.

He received Golden Pen of Freedom in 2005, during the opening ceremonies of the 58th World Newspaper Congress and the 12th World Editors Forum, the global meetings of the Earth's press. It has been awarded annually since 1961 for the stated purpose of "recognis[ing] outstanding action by an individual, a group or an institution in the cause of press freedom." In attendance of the ceremony were the President of South Korea, Roh Moo-Hyun, several representatives from the diplomatic community, and over 1,300 journalists, publishers, and editors of newspapers in 82 countries.

In July 2005, Sudanese authorities suspended their censorship of the press. A new law was put into place requiring that they have to take the journalist to court, instead of immediately punishing them. Salih became the application of that law, after Al-Ayam published an article seen as demeaning to the armed forces