Zehra Dogan Receives “Courage in Journalism Award” in a Representational Ceremony

Originally Published: Bianet English

Kurdish journalist-artist Zehra Doğan is presented her “IWMF 2018 Courage in Journalism Award” in a representational ceremony in New York where she reaches the audience by a voice recording taped during a phone call from prison.

The 2018 IWMF “Courage in Journalism” award is presented to jailed Kurdish journalist-artist Zehra Doğan in a representational ceremony in New York by the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Doğan was awarded for her reporting from the conflict areas in Turkey’s Kurdish populated southeast districts and provinces such as Cizre and Nusaybin where violent clashes had erupted after the districts’ besiegement by the Turkish military for quelling local revolts in 2015-2016.

During the ceremony a video clip including Zehra Doğan’s voice recorded in a telephone conversation from the prison was displayed and her award was representationally presented.

The winners for 2018 IWMF “Courage in Journalism” alongside Doğan are:

* Nima Elbagir, CNN, Sudan: She Attracted the attention of international public with here coverage on the slave markets in Libya where African immigrants were publicly traded at auction.

* Rosario Mosso Castro, ZETA, Mexico : A succesful invesitgative journalist reporting on drug smuggling and organized crime in Tijuana reigned by drug cartels.

* Meridith Kohut, USA: She has documented for three years the economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

* Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes/CBS, USA: (Life Time Achievement Award) Ömür Boyu Başarı Ödülü): She has been working uninterruptedly for human rights for more than 50 years and has benn the winner of numerous awards. Among her achievements are striking works as the coverage on Guantanamo Prison, and on young police informants.

A second ceremony will be held in Washington D. C. early November.

Doğan seconds Ayşe Önalt the first Turkish journalist to win the award in 1996

Zehra Doğan is the second journalist from Turkey to win the IWMF “Courage in Journalism” awards. Ayşe Önal in 1996 was awarded for her coverage on the “mafia-state collaboration” and reports from the southeast conflict zone.

Who is Zehra Doğan?

Graduted from Southeast Dicle University as teacher of arts, journalist-artist Doğan beginning since the foundation of JİNHA (Women’s New Agency) in 2012 until its forcible closure in 2016 worked as a reporter and editor for the agency.

She reported from the Mardin province and districts since Jul. 24, 2015 when the clashes erupted and cufews were imposed and painted the pictures of the conflict areas.

She was detained on Jul. 23, 2016 in Nusaybin from where she was reporting, and was later arrested under charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda”. Doğan was released on Dec. 9, 2016 by a Mardin court, yet she was sentenced to 33 months in the final hearing on Mar. 22, for sharing her paintings on the social media and reporting on the notes of a 10 year old girl Elif Akboğa.

Following the endorsement of her sentence by the local appeals court Doğan was jailed on Jun. 12, 2017 and placed in Diyarbakır Prison and transferred to the distant Tarsus Maximum Security Prison after winning the IWMF award.

Famous muralist Bansky in protest of her convinction reflected Zehra Doğan’s painting with the legend “She is convicted to 2 years 9 months and 22 days for painting this picture” and posted his graphic depicting Doğan behind bars.

“Courage in Journalism Award”

IWMF’s Courage in Journalism Award is presented to women journalists reporting under dangerous conditions. Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to women journalists vanguards in i journalism anad resoluteley working for empowering women in the sector.

Since 1990 IWMF has awarded 90 women journalists with Courage in Journalism Award and 27 women with Lifetime Achievement Award. (EMK/FD/EK)