Amnesty International UK is pleased to announce that the Overall Winner of the Amnesty International UK Media Awards 1999 is BBC TV: Panorama's When Good Men Do Nothing, a damning documentary on the international failure to act during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

This year's Special Award for Human Rights Journalism Under Threat went to former prisoner of conscience Najam Sethi, editor of the Pakistani national newspaper The Friday Times. The beating, arrest and incommunicado detention of this man during May 1999 is part of a disturbing pattern of intimidation and arbitrary arrest of journalists who have had the temerity to criticise Pakistan's government publicly. Najam Sethi was released on 2 June 1999 following international pressure.

The eighth annual Media Awards ceremony was held at BAFTA, Piccadilly, London on Thursday 24 June 1999. The prestigious awards marked journalistic excellence in furthering understanding and awareness of human rights issues.

The 1999 winners, chosen by a distinguished panel of judges, were:

Jonathan Steele for his series of articles "Kosovo: Human Rights Ignored" in The Guardian

Julia Stuart for "Judgement Day" in Night and Day, The Mail on Sunday

Andrew Testa for "Suffering in Kosovo" in The Guardian and The Observer

BBC Radio 4: From Our Own Correspondent - "Civilian", reported by Jeremy Vine

Fergal Keane for his report "Sierra Leone" for BBC TV News

BBC TV: Panorama - "When Good Men Do Nothing"

BBC TV: Panorama - "When Good Men Do Nothing"

Najam Sethi, editor of the Pakistani national newspaper The Friday Times

David Bull, Director of Amnesty International UK said: "Those working to defend human rights depend on the work of journalists whose dedication and determination help to expose injustice, torture and political killings. In a year that has seen continuing gross human rights violations around the world, including the unfolding tragedy of Kosovo, the role of the media in reporting these abuses of basic human rights has never been more vital."

This year's judges were:
Andy Blackmore, Picture Editor, The Independent;
Romesh Gunesekera, award-winning author;
Krishnan Guru Murthy, Presenter, Channel 4 News;
Mark Lattimer, Communications Director, Amnesty International UK;
Jenni Murray, Presenter, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour;
Geoffrey Robertson QC;
Mary Ann Sieghart, political leader writer, The Times.


You can also read about the winners of the 1998 AI Press Awards