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Amnesty announces Media Awards 2009 winners

The winners of the 18th Amnesty International UK Media Awards were announced this evening. The awards recognise excellence in human rights reporting and acknowledge journalism’s significant contribution to the UK public’s awareness and understanding of human rights issues.

The winners in ten categories were announced in a ceremony at the British Film Institute in central London hosted by BBC News presenter Mishal Husain.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, said: “In the midst of the world financial crisis it is more important than ever to celebrate the achievements of journalists whose outstanding reporting has helped throw a clear light upon human rights abuses. Not only is the crisis itself having an impact upon people’s human rights, there is also a real threat to investigative journalism as media outlets cut costs and reduce staff.”

This year’s Gaby Rado Memorial Award, made to a journalist covering human rights for less than five years, went to Aleem Maqbool, the BBC’s Gaza correspondent. It was presented by Tom Rado, son of the Channel 4 foreign correspondent Gaby Rado, who died while on assignment in Iraq in 2003.

Also announced was the recipient of the Amnesty International Special Award for Journalism Under Threat, which recognises the courage of journalists around the world who pursue their legitimate journalistic work at great personal risk to themselves.

This year’s recipient, like last year’s, was unable to collect the award in person. Following years of harassment by the Azerbaijani authorities, newspaper editor Eynulla Fatullayev is serving an eight-and-a-half-year sentence, having been convicted on politically motivated charges. John Mulholland, editor of The Observer newspaper, accepted the award on Eynulla’s behalf.

Last year’s Special Award recipient, Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani, was released three months into the six-year sentence imposed upon him just a week before last year’s ceremony.

The full list of winners, also ‘tweeted’ live from the ceremony via ‘@NewsFromAmnesty’ , a new dedicated Twitter channel with human rights updates for journalists, comprised:


Aleem Maqbool, BBC News

JUDGES: Mike Blakemore, Libby Brooks, Andrew Macdonald, Tom Rado, Jon Snow


World’s Untold Stories: The Forgotten People, CNN
Dan Rivers, Kit Swartz, Sheri England, Anthony Whaley

JUDGES: Anita Anand, Dorothy Byrne, Susanna Flood, Naresh Puri, Tim Singleton


The Fight for Justice, The Herald Magazine
Lucy Adams

JUDGES: Patrick Corrigan, William Crawley, Jenifer Johnston, Tomos Livingstone, Jon Manel


MI5 and the Torture Chambers of Pakistan, The Guardian
Ian Cobain

JUDGES: Jack Doyle, Sarfraz Manzoor, Maggie Paterson, Alison Philips, Julie Tomlin


Kenya: The Cry of Blood - Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances, Wikileaks
Julian Assange

JUDGES: Sara Ashton, Peter Barron, Sunny Hundal, Martha Lane Fox, Danielle Long


The ‘No Place for Children's rights’ campaign, New Statesman
Sir Al Aynsley Green, Gillian Slovo, Alice O’Keefe

JUDGES: Jeremy Dear, Maggie Paterson, John Mulholland, Anne Penketh, Sigrid Rausing


Why do the Italians Hate Us? The Observer Magazine
Dan McDougall, Robin Hammond

JUDGES: Jeremy Dear, Maggie Paterson, John Mulholland, Anne Penketh, Sigrid Rausing


No One Much Cares, Newsweek, Eugene Richards

JUDGES: Simon Bainbridge, Sophie Batterbury, Camilla Brown, Maggie Paterson, Carlos Reyes-Manzo


Forgotten: The Central African Republic, BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme
Edward Main, Ceri Thomas, Mike Thomson

JUDGES: Jane Anderson, Mike Blakemore, Ian Collins, Anna Doble, Alan Johnston


Dispatches: Saving Africa’s Witch Children's rights, Channel 4 / Red Rebel Films / Southern Star Factual
Mags Gavan, Joost Van der Valk, Alice Keens-Soper, Paul Woolwich

JUDGES: Mike Blakemore, Clemency Burton-Hill, Cait Fitzsimons, Tim Marshall, Hugh Williamson


Kiwanja Massacre: Congo, Channel 4 News / ITN
Ben De Pear, Jonathan Miller, Stuart Webb, Robert Chamwami

JUDGES: Mike Blakemore, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Caroline Hurford, Ben Rayner, Julian Worricker


Amnesty International UK media information:
Mike Blakemore: 020 7033 1546, br />Steve Ballinger: 020 7033 1548, br />Out of hours: 07721 398984,

Read the daily media blog: Press release me, let me go
Follow us on Twitter: @NewsFromAmnesty

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