November Issue 2003

By | News & Politics | Published 16 years ago

Oops, we did it again! After bagging several APNS and PPF award earlier this year, Newsline staff celebrate once more, as our colleague, senior reporter, Massoud Ansari, wins the Natali Prize for “Journalism: Excellence in reporting human rights, democracy and development”, for his article “The Great Repatriation Scam.” Awarded annually since 1992 to journalists from the written press who have displayed “striking insight and particular dedication to the reporting of human rights issues within the context of the development process,” this year’s five winners from Africa, the Arab World, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America respectively, were chosen from 320 submissions from 80 countries across the globe. At a special prize giving ceremony held in Brussels, Massoud was honoured by the International Federation of Journalists and the European Commission and awarded 10,000 euros and a trophy. In the words of the jury, “Massoud Ansari follows up on complaints of sexual harassment and corruption in a repatriation scheme run by a UN agency, and discovers, by dint of his own investigations, that the corruption went to the core of the UN operation officially set up to encourage Afghan citizens to return home from Pakistan. It is not an exaggeration to say that the impact of this article proved devastating.” The UNHCR officially confirmed Massoud’s findings, following an internal investigation, which forced the resignation of the key officials involved.” And in the words of our ace reporter himself, a former winner of the Fletcher Challenge Paper Commonwealth Media Award 1999, an APNS award (1998), and granted an honourable mention in the Kurt Schork Awards held by Columbia University earlier this year, he simply feels “on top of the world.”