Friday, November 3, 2017
During Free Press Live 2017, journalist Mwape Kumwenda from Zambia received the Most Resilient Journalist Award. Other Award-winners include Marina Ansiforova (Ukraine), who won the Newcomer of the Year-Hans Verploeg Award, and the duo Maartje Wegdam and Ariadne Asimakopoulos won the Best Report Award.

Free Press Unlimited active in the Philipines

The Free Press Awards were handed out during Free Press Live, an event that sheds light on impunity for violence against journalists. Leon Willems, director of Free Press Unlimited, announced that the organisation has reserved 25.000 euros to support journalists under threat in the Philipines, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers.

The Nederlands will keep protecting journalists under threat

Key note speaker Diane Foley, the mother of American journalist James Foley who was murdered by ISIS in 2014, met with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch House of Representatives earlier in the day. Together with Leon Willems, they spoke about the ambition of the new Dutch government to protect journalists. In their coalition agreement, it says: 'Press freedom is under threat in more and more countries. The Netherlands will continue to make an effort to protect journalists who are threatened abroad.'

Award winners

Television reporter Mwape Kumwenda from Zambia has shown great courage and persistence. She uncovered murders that were committed with approval from high-ranking officers in the Zambian government and brought to light human rights violations and corruption by the army and police. She did not stop reporting, even when she was threatened with legal persecution. This makes Mwape the entitled winner of the Most Resilient Journalist Award 2017.

Marina Ansiforova (22) investigative journalist from Ukraine is specialised in reporting about the judicial reform in her country. She uncovered corruption by over 50 judges, some of them were suspended. This way, she saved the process of judicial reform in a country where journalists are murdered and threatened. Marina has won the Newcomer of the Year-Hans Verploeg Award.

'No Place for a Rebel' is an impressive documentary about a child soldier who manages to escape from the Lord's Resistance Army after 16 years and returns to his village in Northern Uganda. The movie reflects the enormous problem of thousands of former child soldiers returning to Uganda, but also sheds light on a legal issue: are child soldiers victims or perpetrators? The Dutch duo Maartje Wegdam and Ariadne Asimakopoulos received the Best Report Award for this documentary. The Best Report Award is awarded to the best report made with support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery for Journalists.