In this file photo taken on December 19, 2016 digital activist Maxence Melo gestures prior to appearing in court for his bail hearing in Dar es Salaam. / AFP / DANIEL HAYDUK
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A Tanzanian journalist awarded a prestigious prize for press freedom said Wednesday he hoped the recognition will "lift the corner of the veil" on the plight of reporters in his homeland.The New York-based panel said Melo, a co-founder of the Jamii Forums blog in 2006, was a "champion of online freedom of expression" who never flinched, even in the face of Tanzania's strict internet laws.Melo said he hoped the award would turn the spotlight on the exceptional difficulties faced by journalists in Tanzania.Tanzania fell 25 places in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index this year, with the media watchdog branding Magufuli a "press freedom predator" who attacked journalists with impunity.
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