Amnesty Media Awards: Daily record journalist wins prestigious prize

  • More than 300 UK journalists pay tribute to imprisoned Al Jazeera trio
  • BBC’s Mike Thomson scoops his record-breaking fourth Amnesty Radio Award
  • Gael Garcia Bernal and Marc Silver win Best Documentary

The Sunday Times, the Daily Record, Channel 4, GQ, and The Guardian were just some of the winners at the prestigious Amnesty International Media Awards which took place at the British Film Institute in central London on last night (Tuesday 11 November). Paul O’Hare from the Daily Record won the Nations and Regions category for his series Colombia: Caught in the Crossfire.

Now in its 23rd year, the Awards ceremony was hosted by Channel 4 News’ International Editor, Lindsey Hilsum.  Amnesty’s coveted awards, this year covering the period March 2013 to July 2014, recognise excellence in human rights reporting and acknowledge journalism’s significant contribution to public awareness and understanding of human rights issues.

During the ceremony, Amnesty recognised the plight of the imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed. Sue Turton – one of the three other journalists sentenced in absentia with the Al Jazeera Three – and Peter Greste’s brother, Andrew – spoke about the situation facing the imprisoned three, and the threats facing journalists who cover conflicts and human rights issues.  This was followed by a moment of solidarity with the 400-strong audience taping their mouths as a form of silent protest.

Nations and Regions winner, Paul O’Hare, said:

'I'm absolutely delighted to win such a prestigious award and am grateful to Amnesty International for choosing my reports from amongst such strong competition. The long-standing conflict in Colombia continues to devastate lives and the plight of vulnerable citizens rightly deserves our urgent attention.

'I would like to thank the Scottish aid charity SCIAF who helped me in Colombia and whose work is helping to protect human and land rights every day. I would also like to thank my editors for giving me the time to go Colombia – it's vital that the media continue to highlight human rights abuses to the public and those in power.'

Amnesty International Scotland Programme Director, Siobhan Reardon, said:

'This year, more than 90 journalists have been killed because of their work, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff who were so brutally and publically murdered. The dangers facing journalists grow daily and that is why we must recognise the great achievements by those who continue to seek the truth and investigate human rights abuses around the world.

“Paul O’Hare is a very worthy winner of an Amnesty Media Award for his intelligent, compassionate piece of work which is truly inspirational – I offer him my sincere congratulations and look forward to reading more of his high-calibre reporting.'

Full list of winners

Nations and regions

Colombia – Caught in the crossfire
Paul O'Hare, Daily Record

Judges: Michael Beard, Mark Devenport, Joyce McMillan, Patrick Corrigan

National newspapers

Revealed: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves'
Pete Pattisson, The Guardian

Judges: Stig Abell, Ursula Kenny, Sophie McBain, David Munk, Niall Couper


Investigation: detainee harassment at Campsfield House
Redmond Traynor, The Oxford Student

Judges: Siobhan Sinnerton, Andrew Rawnsley, Dani Beckett


Who is Dayani Cristal?
Directors: Marc Silver, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pulse Films

Judges: Ade Adepitan, Naresh Puri, Cathy Scott-Clark, Naomi Westland

Gaby Rado Memorial Award

Dispatches: Children on the frontline; Unreported World: Dancing in the danger zone
Marcel Mettelsiefen, Channel 4

Judges: Dermot Murnaghan, Xan Rice, Jonathan Rugman, Mike Thomson, Harriet Garland


Displaced persons series
AA Gill, The Sunday Times Magazine

Hell is other people
Ed Caesar, GQ

Judges: Bruno Bayley, Helen Joyce, Victoria Harper, Maggie Paterson


Descent into Hell: Bloodshed in the Central African Republic
Marcus Bleasdale, Telegraph magazine

Judges: Shannon Jenson, Roger Tooth, Paul Conroy, Maggie Paterson


Escape from Sinai
Mike Thomson, BBC Radio 4 / BBC World Service

Judges: Anita Anand, Andrew Bailey, Flora Hunter, Philippa Thomas, Eulette Ewart

TV News

Bucharest's King of the Sewers
Paraic O'Brien, Channel 4 News

Judges: Ben de Pear, Simon Torkington, Anna Jones, Eulette Ewart

Notes to editors

Photographs of the award winners are available.

To arrange an interview, please contact Pauline Kelly

Pauline Kelly 0131 718 6687
Out of office hours: 07818 453070
Follow us @AmnestyScotland


View latest press releases