Hongkong Journalist Wins Natali Prize for Human Rights Reporting

May. 07, 2007

On International Press Freedom Day, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel awarded the grand prix of the 2006 Natali Prize competition to the Hong Kong based journalist Leu Siew Ying, for her report From Village Protest to National Flashpoint. The award-winning article tells the story of villagers in Guangzhou/Southern China who try to recall their elected headman for suspected corruption. Fourteen other journalists also received Natali Prizes for their commitment to Human Rights and Democracy.

Congratulating Mrs Leu Siew Ying, Commissioner Michel expressed his belief that “principled and skilled journalists are vital to the defence of democracy and human rights. Without democracy, without freedom of press, development cannot be sustainable. Louis Michel also used the opportunity to support the call for the release of the BBC correspondent in Gaza Alan Johnston who is held hostage since 12 March.

Leu Siew Ying was chosen by an independent jury from among 15 nominees, all of who were present at the ceremony. The journalists Tanya FARBER (South Africa), Mauri KONIG (Brazil), Michael TIERNEY (United Kingdom) and Talal EL-ATRACHE (Lebanon) also received first prizes in their respective regions.

The Natali Prize commemorates Lorenzo Natali, a former European Commissioner for Development and a fervent defender of Human Rights. It comprises five regional prizes: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Arab World, Lebanon and Israel.

This year, the prize attracted a record interest, with 1529 nominees from 165 countries. The 15 prize winners were selected by an independent jury drawn from representatives of organisations such as Reporters sans Frontires, Amnesty International and major newspapers and press agencies. The jury was chaired by the CNN Inside Africa anchor, Ms Femi OKE.

The prizewinners

Africa :

1st Prize : Tanya FARBER (South Africa)

The bulb of Life published in The Star

2nd Prize : Robert MUGAGGA (Uganda)

Why its dangerous being born in Uganda published in The Weekly Observer

3rd Prize : Lucky GEORGE (Nigeria)

Hardway to Europe published in: Business Day

Latin America / Caribbean :

1st Prize : Mauri KONIG (Brasil)

A infncia no limite II No bordel, a debutante da selva published in: Gazeta do Povo

2nd Prize: Maria Teresa RONDEROS TORRES (Colombia)

El turno de las victimas published in: Semana

3rd Prize: Maria Paz CUEVAS (Chile)

Perdido en Santiago published in : Fibra


1st Prize : Leu SIEW YING (China / HongKong)

From Village Protest to National Flashpoint published in: South China Morning Post

2nd Prize: Syed Shoaib HASAN (Pakistan)

Missing published in: Herald Magazin

3rd Prize : Massoud ANSARI (Pakistan)

Educating the Future published in: Newsline

Europe :

1st Prize : Michael TIERNEY (United Kingdom)

Dream Makers published in: The Herald Magazine

2nd Prize : Andrej DYNKO (Belorussia)

Sacrificial Therapy Letter from a Prison in Minsk first published by: Nasha Niva

3rd Prize: Mario KAISER (Germany)

Der Pfad des Teufels published in : Park Avenue

Monde Arabe, Liban & Isral :

1st Prize : Talal EL-ATRACHE (Lebanon)

Quand l’exception devient la rgle published in : LHebdo Magazine

2nd Prize: Mohammad BEN HUSSEIN (Jordania)

Reputation and Honour more important than Life published in: Focus Today

3rd Prize: Aijaz ZAKA SYED (United Arab Emirates)

Disgrace of Darfur published in : Khaleej Times

Photos, radio interviews and videos are available on request. The 15 prizewinners articles are available online at: http://www.nataliprize.com/

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