The morning after

Actually now it’s the afternoon after the morning after the night before which was Amnesty International’s Media Awards ceremony. And what a lovely evening it was! 

Held at a beautiful central London location overlooking the Thames on the South Bank, some of the UK’s finest journalists gathered to attend what is my favourite Amnesty event of the year.

For the first time this year we were tweeting the results of the winners live from the ceremony at our new Twitter channel http://twitter.com/NewsFromAmnesty, check it out when you can.
 
You may have heard the Today programme flagging it up this morning as their reporter Mike Thomson won the Radio award but you can get a comprehensive list of who won what here.

Each year the Media Awards ceremony shines a spotlight on the excellent human rights journalism we are privileged to read and watch in this country: the snippets of Channel’s 4’s Dispatches ‘Saving Africa’s Witch-Children’ and Ian Cobain’s piece on ‘MI5 and the Torture Chambers of Pakistan’ in The Guardian are two such examples.

As well as that, however, journalists around the world who face serious risk of attack and abuse are also honoured and remembered at the awards ceremony with our Special Award for Journalists Under Threat.  This year’s Special Award went to Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, who was imprisoned two years ago for criticising the Azerbaijani government. 

As the Guardian reports, Azerbaijan is one of several post-Soviet countries with a dismal record on freedom of expression. With the possible exceptions of Ukraine and Georgia, no post-communist country has developed a strong culture of independent media reporting, with critical journalists routinely facing harassment, imprisonment, attack and even murder.

Amnesty International considers Eynulla to be a prisoner of conscience – imprisoned for expressing his right to freedom of expression – and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. To find out more about Eynulla and our other Special Awards nominees, Ebrima B Manneh and Pablo Avelcho and to take action on their cases, please visit our Special Award page.

Tomorrow’s marks the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.  More on that in tomorrow’s blog.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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