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International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Awards have been met with their winners.
Imprisoned journalist and artist Zehra Doğan took her place among the five women who were deemed worthy of Courage in Journalism Award.
The award winners are as follows:
* Zehra Doğan, Turkey
* Nima Elbagir, CNN, Sudan
* Rosario Mosso Castro, ZETA, Mexico
* Meridith Kohut, US
* Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes/CBS, US (Lifetime Achievement Award)
“Zehra shows that neither journalism nor art can be oppressed”
In 2016, Doğan was arrested on the charge of membership in an illegal organization due to a report she made and a drawing of her she made in Nusaybin, and sentenced to 33 months in prison.
After her sentence was upheld, she was re-arrested in June 2017 and sent to Diyarbakır Prison. Doğan’s workplace JINHA, Turkey's first women's news agency, was shut down by a statutory decree in October 2016.
In its statement, the IWFM briefly said:
“Zehra courageously reported from places like the Kurdish town of Nusaybin, that came under curfew of the Turkish army, Northern Iraq during ISIS presence, where she went to become one of the first journalists to speak to the Yezidi women liberated from ISIS slavery.
“Zehra is not only a journalist but also a painter. As a graduate of the arts in university, Zehra has painted impressions of the scenes and the people she witnesses during her journalistic work.
“After leaving Nusaybin, Zehra was jailed for six months waiting trial with the accusation of ‘terrorist propaganda’ because of a news report and a painting she made. Imprisonment does not stop Zehra from producing journalism. She has been collecting and writing the stories of the women political prisoners, reporting human rights abuses in prison, and also painting despite the prison administration's refusal to supply her with painting materials.
“Zehra has been producing her own paint from food, drinks, and her menstrual blood. Zehra does not have a brush but makes brushes from the feathers of birds that fall into the prison. Zehra shows that neither journalism nor art can be oppressed by imprisonment”.
About Zehra Doğan
Born in 1989, Doğan graduated from University of Dicle, Department of Painting Teaching. She has been working at JİHNA since 2012 when the agency was founded. Doğan working as reporter and editor at the JİNHA, was awarded Metin Göktepe Journalism Prize.
Doğan carrying out her duty in the regions as of the beginning of conflict and curfews on July 24, 2015, was working in Nusaybin for the past five month
Zehra's coverage of the Yezidi women earned her the Metin Göktepe Award, one of the most prestigious journalism awards in Turkey. While imprisoned, she won the Freethinker Prize from the Swiss Freethinker Association, her works are exhibited in many European countries, and her voice is heard all over the world.
What is Courage in Journalism Award?
Courage in Journalism Awards are granted by the IWMF to journalist women who report on taboo topics, work in environments hostile to women, and share difficult truths. Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to journalist women who open doors for future generations to make a difference.
The IWMF has given Courage in Journalism Award to 90 women and Lifetime Achievement Award to 27 women from various countries across the world since 1990.
Ayşe Önal from Turkey was granted the Courage in Journalism Award in 1996 and Sevgi Uludağ from Cyprus in 2008. (YT/ÇT/TK)
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