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James Foley to be posthumously honored with Life and Liberty Award

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James Foley worked as a freelance journalist in trouble spots around the world including Libya and Syria. (Courtesy photo)

CONCORD - The New Hampshire Supreme Court Society will honor slain conflict journalist James Foley on Tuesday.

According to the James Foley Foundation website, Foley will be awarded the Life and Liberty Award at a ceremony at the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Concord. Foley's parents, who live in Rochester, will be there to accept the award.

Foley, a freelance journalist and war correspondent, was beheaded by ISIS in 2014 after nearly two years in captivity in northern Syria. The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation was created the same year by his family to improve the safety and treatment of independent freelance conflict journalists, to advocate for the safe return of Americans kidnapped abroad and to improve U.S. hostage policy.

"Jim cherished his freedom and felt privileged to be an American. He found profound moral courage in the Arabs' deep desire and willingness to die for freedom from tyranny. This motivated him to continue to bear witness to their dream of liberty," foundation President Diane Foley said in a statement posted on the website.

"Thus we are so deeply honored to receive this posthumous award for Jim and all truth seekers."

The Life and Liberty Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated excellence and bravery in the world of human rights, civil rights and the law. Past recipients include freedom rider and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, civil rights activist Jonathan Daniels, international human rights advocate Rep. Tom Lantos and head of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council Madhat al-Mahmood.

The society focused on Foley's role as an advocate for a free press in choosing him as the recipient of this year's honor, according to New Hampshire Supreme Court Society trustee and past president Sherilyn Burnett Young.

"We chose Jim because in these days where freedom of the press is under siege around the world, we thought it more than fitting to give the award to a brave journalist who risked (and gave) his life to show the world the horrors of modern war," said Burnett Young.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of "Weekend Edition Sunday" and former foreign correspondent, will give the keynote address.

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