Two stories by KirkukNow were selected for the first prize among many other stories in a local press competition to choose the best reports of 2021 about human rights.
The competition was held by Deng (voice) Radio in cooperation with National Endowment for Democracy NED, a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world, on December 10th in Kalar district, south of Sulaymaniyah, honoring the winners of the top three stories.
The celebration included three sessions: first a panel about human rights, followed by an art presentation and finally award winning stories declared.
Azad Othman, director of Deng Radio, an independent radio station, said the jury has decided to award the prize equally to the two follow-ups by KirkukNow given that they obtained the same evaluation points.
Early November, KirkukNow has received the award of “the most progressive media outlet” in 2019-2020 in Aswatouna Media Festival 2021 in Erbil on November 1st held by Internews, an international media support non-profit in 100 countries, presented the award of.
The first press follow-up was (Thomas is back from the hell of Daesh) by Karwan Haji about a kid kidnapped by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL when he was nine, recruited yet the militants turned their backs to him in a critical condition.
The report sheds light on the violent treatment and violations of human rights committed by ISIL militants. Thomas, an Ezidi (Yazidi) boy who was enslaved by ISIL militants when he was still nine years old, turned into a fighter and driven to frontlines of war against his will.
They leave him wounded under the rubble of one of the destroyed houses. He was returned to his family which is trying to integrate him into the Ezidi community to lead a normal life.
The second follow-up of (KirkukNow) was (Law Number 21: Nightmare for freedom of press) by Farman Sadiq.
This follow-up deals with the issue of the arrest of more than 50 activists, journalists, teachers and others by the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG under Law No. 21 of 2003, the same legal article that Saddam Hussein, as Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council before 2003, applied against the Kurdish freedom fighters (Peshmerga) and opponents of the regime since 1970s.
The follow-up tells the story of the suffering of the family of Sherwan Taha, one of the detainees, due to Law No. 21 and the hardships that Taha's wife and children have been facing.
The second-best report award went to Ghamgin Muhammad for (The Sensitive File, Stories of Child Sexual Abuse in Kurdistan Region), which was published on the paragraf.com.
The third prize was awarded to (Shahen Wahab) for a report on the life of a poor family that was published by Esta Media Network.
The Human Rights Press Competition has been held annually in the last six years. 25 journalists from different media organizations participated in written, video and multimedia press materials, four of it were produced by KirkukNow. The reports were evaluated and the winners were selected by a three-member committee.
Nine female journalists were among the participants in the press competition. The press materials included 10 written reports, 13 photo reports and two multimedia materials.
Video: First prize for human rights journalism competition given to Karwan Haji and Farman Sadeq.
In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the stories and follow-ups of (KirkukNow) correspondents won prizes in the same competition.
KirkukNow is an independent electronic news website publishes stories and events taking place within or relevant to Iraq’s disputed territories, as defined in the Iraqi constitution, with the aim of promoting coexistence in those areas and providing easy access to information.
In April 2011, www.kirkuknow.com was launched as an online news agency, the only independent media outlet that covers developments throughout the disputed territories in Iraq in the three main languages of these areas - Arabic, Kurdish and Turkmen- as well as in English.