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Amnesty announces 2011 Media Awards winners

‘It was a vintage year for human rights journalism’ - Kate Allen

Amnesty International UK has announced the winners of its prestigious annual media awards, this year celebrating its 20th year.

The winners, in ten categories, were announced this evening at a ceremony hosted by BBC Six O’Clock News presenter George Alagiah at the British Film Institute in central London.

There were wins for Channel 4 News, More 4, CNN International, BBC Radio 4, the Independent, the Guardian, GQ Magazine, Marie Claire, Guardian Weekend Magazine and the Sunday Times Magazine. Awards also went to the Bureau Of Investigative Journalism and the Belfast Telegraph, as well as VERITA magazine in a new student journalism award category.

The coveted awards recognise excellence in human rights reporting and acknowledge journalism’s significant contribution to the public’s awareness and understanding of human rights issues.

The awards ceremony included a recorded video message from Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma. The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke of the “great importance” of the media in “promoting the cause of democracy and human rights in Burma”, adding that it is “through the media that the rest of the world gets to hear about what we have to undergo in this country.” She urged journalists to “continue to make as many people around the globe know about what we are struggling for in Burma and what that struggle involves.”

Though Aung San Suu Kyi was released from her latest period of house detention last November, approximately 2,200 political prisoners are still imprisoned in Burma and Amnesty is campaigning for their release.

Journalists at the event also sent tweets to Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev (@presidentaz) demanding the release of Eynulla Fatullayev, an Azerbaijani newspaper editor jailed four years ago on trumped-up charges after publishing articles critical of the government.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“This was the 20th year of our awards and it was a vintage year for human rights journalism.

“With entries of the highest calibre in category after category it was a hard job for our judges to pick the winners. The awards are fantastic tribute to some of the best journalists in the trade.

“Well done to all the winners, those that were shortlisted and everyone that tries to expose human rights abuses through their journalism. It’s a vital job and we pay tribute to you.”

Previous winning journalists have included Mike Thomson, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Johann Hari, Alan Johnston, Jonathan Miller, Lucy Ash, Andrew Gilligan and Gaby Rado. More information at:


Bureau Of Investigative Journalism: Angus Stickler, Iain Overton, Rachel Oldroyd, Lucy Keating - Iraq War Logs

Judges: Jason Bennetto, Suzi Daniels, Aleks Krotoski, Sameer Padania

The Guardian: Jack Shenker - Bloody And Bruised In The Back Of A Truck (and others)

Judges: Mike Blakemore, Deborah Haynes, Tom Rado, Ritula Shah

CNN International:  David McKenzie, Mike McCarthy, Sheri England, Ingrid Formanek, Earl Nurse - World’s Untold Stories: Locked Up And Forgotten

Judges: Susanna Flood, Phil Harding, Flora Hunter, Tabitha Jackson

GQ Magazine: Ed Caesar, Photographer: Bran Symondson - The Lost Boys

Judges: Jeremy Dear, Helena Drakakis, Michele Lavery, Jon Manel, Maggie Paterson

(Joint winner): Guardian Weekend Magazine: Alice Vasey (pseudonym), editor: Merope Mills - Handle With Care

(Joint winner): The Sunday Times Magazine: Dan McDougall, photographer: Mariella Furrer - Cries From The Beloved Country

Judges: Jeremy Dear, Helena Drakakis, Michele Lavery, Jon Manel, Maggie Paterson

The Independent: Andrew Buncombe - One Woman’s Silent Quest For Peace

Judges: John Amaechi, Wesley Johnson, Iain Overton, Maggie Paterson

The Belfast Telegraph: Eamonn McCann - Bloody Sunday Inquiry

Judges: Suzanne Breen, Ian Cobain, Patrick Corrigan, Naresh Puri, David Williamson

Marie Claire: Robin Hammond - If This Girl Was Raped By Soldiers …

Judges: Camilla Brown, Colin Jacobson, Mary McCartney, Maggie Paterson, Carlos Reyes-Manzo

BBC Radio 4: Hilary Andersson, Caroline Finnigan, Ali Safi, Polly Hope, Hugh Levinson - Bagram Airbase

Judges: Jane Anderson, Mike Blakemore, Afua Hirsch, Petrie Hosken, Alan Johnston

VERITA Magazine: Sophie Mei - Sex Trafficking: A Family Affair

Judges: Niall Couper, Sunny Hundall, Kat Lay, Ed Marsh, Susan Nash, Tom Parry, Hannah Shaw

More 4 True Stories (Clover Films): Najibullah Quraishi, Jamie Doran, Mike Healy, John Moffat - The Dancing Boys Of Afghanistan

Judges: Mike Blakemore, Clemency Burton-Hill, Mark Galloway, Jane Stephenson, Robert Verkaik

Channel 4 News: Jonathan Miller, Ben De Pear, Girish Juneja, Sarah Corp, Nevine Mabro - Investigating The Possibility Of War Crimes In Sri Lanka

Judges: Kevin Bakhurst, Mike Blakemore, Robert Cole, Julie Hulme, Tim Singleton

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