Srinagar, February 20, 2020 (PPI-OT):Freelance Kashmiri journalist, Ahmer Khan, was named the winner of the 2019 Agence France-Presse (AFP) Kate Webb Prize on Thursday for his coverage during the India-imposed ongoing lockdown in occupied Kashmir. According to Kashmir Media Service, the award, named after one of AFP’s finest correspondents, recognises journalism by locally hired reporters in Asia operating in difficult conditions.
Ahmer Khan, 27, was honoured for a series of video and written reports that vividly illustrated the impact on locals in occupied Kashmir following India’s decision to strip the territory of its special status on 5th August, last year. India’s Hindu communal government imposed restrictions on movement and a communications blackout, virtually cutting the occupied territory from the world.
Despite curfews and a heavy presence of Indian forces’ personnel, Ahmer Khan took to the streets with his camera to document the tensions, concerns and frustrations among the residents of Srinagar and other areas in occupied Kashmir. Regional Director of AFP’s Asia-Pacific Philippe Massonnet said, “Reporting from Kashmir at this time has been extremely challenging for everyone, including the established foreign media.”
“For an independent, local journalist those challenges have been far greater, and it is to Ahmer’s enormous credit that he managed to provide accurate and high-quality journalism when it was so sorely needed,” he added. Ahmer Khan said on learning of his win: “This is a real honour, and a huge motivation to carry on my work with enthusiasm and determination.”
He said, he wants to dedicate this award to the courageous and resilient journalists from occupied Kashmir who have been reporting in extremely difficult conditions for the past over six months. “This is a collective award,” he added.
The Kate Webb Prize, with a 3,000 euro ($3,400) purse, honours journalists working in perilous or difficult conditions in Asia and is named after an AFP reporter who died in 2007 at the age of 64, after a career covering the world’s trouble spots. The prize will be formally presented at a ceremony in Hong Kong later this year.
For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549