Umar Cheema

June 1, 2011 - 7:45am
With turmoil in the Middle East and recent news of another Pakistani reporter killed, a journalist honored at SU shares his personal story of torture and the challenges of freedom of information.

As protests continue to rumble across parts of the Middle East and North Africa, freedom of the press has increasingly come under attack. In the spotlight have been high profile cases like the abduction of four New York Times' reporters in Libya.

April 14, 2011 - 11:29pm
As winner of the Tully Center honor, Umar Cheema says 'staying silent was not an option' following his abduction.

He was abducted, stripped naked and tortured for holding the Pakistani government accountable for its commitments. Umar Cheema’s life was put in jeopardy on Sept. 4, 2010, because of his investigative journalism. It also earned him a free speech award Thursday evening at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

“That was the day when my freedom was robbed,” Cheema said in a discussion with Professor Roy Gutterman, director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University. The center gives an annual award to a journalist who has faced a free speech threat.