The Wire’s Sukanya Shantha wins Fetisov journalism prize for her work on caste in prisons

New Delhi: ThreadSukanya journalist Shantha has won the prestigious Fetisov Journalism Award for her work on caste discrimination in Indian prisons. Shantha won first prize in the “Contribution to Civil Rights” category.

Twelve winners were chosen across all categories from 400 submissions from around the world, and the winners were announced on April 22.

“The winners of this year’s Fetisov Journalism Awards are chosen in troubled times. And these are great examples of factual journalism that people need to meet these challenges,” said Aidan White, president of the Ethical Journalism Network and honorary advisor to the Fetisov Journalism Awards. “These winning stories demonstrate why truth journalism is important to all of us. Today, we pay tribute to all the winners, and we congratulate them! They did a good job and they made a difference in people’s lives.

The first winners receive a cash prize of CHF 100,000. The second and third prizes are respectively CHF 20,000 and CHF 10,000.

In an in-depth article on caste in Indian prisons, “From Segregation to Labour, Manu’s Caste Law Rules Indian Prison System,” Shantha had pointed out how prison manuals in various Indian states are still governed by the caste system.

Shortly after Shantha’s first report was published in December 2020, the Rajasthan High Court had suo motu knowledge of the case and asked the government to revise its prison handbook and remove clauses that assign labor in prisons. prisons on the basis of caste. About two months later, the state government amended the manual – after 70 years of prescribing a caste-based division of labour. However, several other state prison manuals still retain such provisions.

Here is the full list of winners of this year’s Fetisov Journalism Awards:

“The first prize in the category Outstanding Investigative Reporting went to the France Author Team for their stories “Uncovered: The Buried Truth of Assassinated Journalist Regina Martínez”, “Mexican Cartels: ‘The Asian Connection'”, “An Ocean of Guns: Mexico’s Journalists in the Crossfire of the International Arms Trade”, which are part of the “Project Cartel”. The second prize went to Yudhijit Bhattacharjee (USA) and Smita Sharma (India) for their survey “Stolen Lives. The harrowing story of two girls sold in sexual slavery”. The third prize was awarded to Zecharias Zelalem (Ethiopia) and Will Brown (Kenya) for their series “African Migrants ‘Left to Die’ in the Saudi Arabia’s Hellish Covid Detention Centres”.

The first prize for Outstanding Contribution to Peace was awarded to Olatunji Ololade (Nigeria) for his story “The Boys Who Swapped Football for Bullets”. The second prize was awarded to Haris Rovčanin and Albina Sorguč from Bosnia and Herzegovina for their series of articles: “BIRN Fact-Check: Is the Bosnian Serb Report on the Sarajevo Siege Accurate? » ; “Serbian Chetnik Links to War Criminals and Extremists Uncovered”; “Bosnian Serb military police chiefs were never charged with the Srebrenica murders”; “28 years later, families are still searching for missing Bosnian soldiers.” The third prize was awarded to Ali Al Ibrahim (Sweden) and Khalifa Al Khuder (Syria) for their story “Syria’s Sinister Yet Lucrative Trade in Dead Bodies”

The first prize of Contribution to civil rights category was awarded to Sukanya Shantha (India) for her series “Barred–The Prisons Project”. The second prize was awarded to Corinne Redfern (Italy) and Ali Ahsan (Bangladesh) for their story “She Was Trafficked into a Giant Brothel. Now she’s running it.” The third prize was awarded to Monica Jha (India) for her story “The Testimony”.

The second prize of Excellence in Environmental Journalism was shared between Bhrikuti Rai (Nepal) for her series: “Drawing a Line in the Sand”, “Permit to Plunder: How the Environment is Paying the Price for Nepal Local Governments’ Greed”, “Environment Conservation Takes a Back Seat in the Budget” and the international team of authors Sarah Maslin, Stephan Kueffner and James Tozer (Brazil/Ecuador/UK) for their series “Dispatches from the Amazon Under Pressure”. The third prize was awarded to Karla Mendes (Brazil) for her investigation “Déjà Vu as the palm oil industry brings deforestation and pollution to Amazon”.“

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