Marie Colvin and Sue Lloyd-Roberts celebrated for dedication to human rights reporting at Amnesty Media Awards
Amnesty International has celebrated two of the UK’s best-known journalists for their dedication to human rights reporting at its 25th annual Media Awards ceremony in central London.
The Sunday Times’ foreign correspondent Marie Colvin – who, in 2012, was killed in an airstrike while on assignment in Syria – and BBC News’ correspondent Sue Lloyd-Roberts – who died of cancer in October last year – were each posthumously given a special Amnesty Media Impact Awardthat honours their courage and unwavering commitment to human rights journalism.
Sue Lloyd-Roberts was praised for her reporting on genital mutilation of young women in west Africa and how, in 2000, she exposed the trade in ‘orphaned’ babies in Romania, while Marie Colvin was celebrated for her determination to uncover human rights abuses in war zones at personal cost to her own life, from Sri Lanka to Syria where she ultimately lost her life.
Amnesty International’s UK Director Kate Allen said:
“We’re extremely pleased that the judges have awarded these two towering figures in British journalism this prestigious honour. Marie and Sue’s tenacious reporting helped to uncover some of the world’s worst atrocities. They also bravely challenged some of the worst human rights abusers. Although sadly neither journalist could be with us this evening, we’re delighted that we can applaud their fantastic work tonight and their families can be reminded of just how much their reporting was valued.”
Wins for Channel 4 News, Sunday Times and The New Statesman
Meanwhile, tonight’s Media Awards ceremony also saw wins for individual journalists and media outlets in ten other categories across broadcast, multimedia, print and photography reporting.
The Sunday Times, The New Statesman, The Guardian and Channel 4 News were just some of the winners at the prestigious ceremony which took place at Kings Place.
Sophie McBain of The New Statesman won the Features Award for her captivating piece on the journey of refugees to Hull, via Darfur, Tripoli and Cairo to the UK. Photojournalist Robin Hammond scooped his fifth Amnesty Award for his powerful Sunday Times magazine series on LGBTI stories of discrimination and survival from around the world, entitled ‘Where Love Is Illegal’.
Syrian journalist Waad Al Kateab secured two wins - Television News and Gaby Rado Award for Best New Journalist - for her Channel 4 News report 'Inside Aleppo: three brothers at al-Quds hospital'. Waad al Kateab was not able to attend this evening's awards, as she is currently trapped in eastern Aleppo. However, Waad sent a message which was read by Ben de Pear, Channel 4 News editor. The full message is below.
Kate Allen added:
“Through tireless and courageous reporting, this year’s winners have produced some of incredibly thought-provoking and inspiring pieces of journalism. We are so proud to award these excellent journalists for their commitment to human rights reporting. Twenty-five years on from its inception, it’s clear that the Amnesty Media Awards are as important to today’s audience as they were in 1992 when they first started. We congratulate everyone who produced these amazing pieces of reporting, and who gave editorial backing to this truly important work.”
Call to release “Shawkan”
This evening Amnesty urged the 400-strong audience to support its call to the authorities in Egypt to immediately and unconditionally release the prominent Egyptian photojournalist, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, popularly known as “Shawkan”, who has been in detention in Egypt for more than three years. Journalists, celebrities and other attendees were encouraged to send tweets calling for the release of Shawkan with hashtag #FreeShawkan.
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:
“Shawkan’s only ‘crime’ was to take photographs at a public demonstration. No journalist should ever be jailed for doing their job and taking photographs is not a crime. We reiterate our call on Egyptian authorities to immediately release Shawkan and all the other journalists who are behind bars in Egypt simply for doing their job.”
Waad al Kateab's letter to Amnesty Media Awards
"Maybe this will be my last letter to you and to the world. I am in the most dangerous city in the world and only today 30 barrel bombs and 100 artillery shells fell on my neighbouhood (Al Sukkari).
I wanted to be with you but the siege of my city prevented that. I am just one individual of the 270,000 people who live under this siege.
The only thing that's available in this city is air, but this air, most of the time, is polluted with poisonous gases and chlorine. We are not the only city in Syria under siege and our salvation will not be achieved only by lifting of this siege or halting the bombing, but with the fall of the Assad regime and getting our freedom and dignity as Syrians.
I would have liked for my lens and my colleagues' lenses in Aleppo to give you the complete picture of Aleppo. But we are helpless in front of the horrors of this annihilation which the Russians and the regime are enjoying in this ancient city.
There is a perished city called Aleppo. And all its people are asking you to remember your humanity."
Marie Colvin, Sunday Times
Sue Lloyd Roberts, BBC News
Judges: Jane Ferguson, Caroline Hawley, Christina Lamb, Mike Thomson, Naomi Westland
Assassin Films for BBC Storyville, India’s Daughter (Leslee Udwin)
Judges: Eammon Matthews, Naresh Puri, James Rogan, Beatrice Rubens, Sharron Ward
Gaby Rado for Best New Journalist
Waad Al Kateeb, Channel 4 News
Judges: Oly Duff, Cathy Newman, Natalie Watson, Zubeida Malik, Naomi Westland
Sophie McBain, New Statesman, A Second Life
Judges: Decca Aitkenhead, Steve Bloomfield, Stuart McGurk, Victoria Harper
The Guardian, 6 x 9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement
Judges: Berry Cochrane, Laurie Hanna, Marguerite Howell, Wendie Ottewill
Nations and Regions
BBC Spotlight NI, Missing
Judges: Sangeeta Bhabra, Patrick Corrigan, Wesley Johnson, Sarah Smith
Oliver Holmes & Tom Phillips, The Guardian, Gui Minhai: The Strange Disappearance Of A Publisher Who Riled China’s Elite
Judges: James Ball, Niall Couper, Tracy McVeigh, Hannah Strange, Joel Taylor
Robin Hammond, Where Love Is Illegal, Sunday Times Magazine
Judges: Marcus Bleasdale, Andrea Kurland, Russ O’Connell, Maggie Paterson
BBC World Service, Stealing Innocence In Malawi
Judges: Louise Orton, James Rea, Roger Sawyer, Mike Wooldridge
Temitope Kalejaiye, Almajiri is Begging
Judges: Kathryn Bromwich, Richard Brooks, Louise Orton, Elizabeth Pears
Channel 4 News, Inside Aleppo: three brothers at al-Quds hospital
Judges: Eulette Ewart, Nevine Mabro, Camilla Mankabady, Paul Royall, Dominic Waghorn