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Human Rights Award 2012

Turkish Cameraman, Jordanian Reporter Win 2012 SEEMO Human Rights Award
Vienna, 4 December 2012


The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), has named Turkish cameraman Cüneyt Ünal and his missing colleague, Jordanian reporter of Palestinian origin Bashar Fahmi Kaddumi, the winners of the 2012 SEEMO Human Rights Award.

The award is scheduled to be presented during a ceremony on 6 December 2012 at the Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ünal has worked as a cameraman for different news organizations in Turkey, including TRT Turk and CNN Turk. In May, the Turkish Association of News Cameramen awarded him the Baran Information Technology Special Award as part of the ZOOM 2011 Best News Pictures of the Year International Competition for Ünal's coverage of the conflict in Libya in 2011.

Ünal was covering the Syrian civil war for the U.S.-funded Arabic-language satellite station Al Hurra in August 2012 when he travelled to Aleppo, where he was kidnapped, beaten and delivered to the Syrian Army on 21 August. He was released on 18 November after 89 days in captivity.

Fahmi Kaddumi, also with Al Hurra, travelled to Aleppo with Ünal and disappeared on 21 August. According to Ünal, Fahmi Kaddumi was shot as a pro-regime militia attacked the pair and other journalists with whom they were travelling. Ünal said he has not seen his colleague since that day and Fahmi Kaddumi’s whereabouts remain unknown. The Syrian government denies that it is holding him captive.

The SEEMO Human Rights Award was established in 2002 in connection with the International Human Rights Day on 10 December. Previous award winners are:

2011: Veton Suroi, founder of Koha Ditore daily, Pristina.

2010:  Christo Komarnitski, cartoonist, Bulgaria.

2009: Pavol Demes, Director, German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), Bratislava office, Slovakia.

2008: Spomenka Hribar, journalist, writer and human rights advocate, Slovenia.

2007: Seki Radoncic, writer and human rights activist specialising in war crimes, Montenegro.

2006: Abdulhalim Dede, journalist, member of the Turkish-Muslim minority in Western Thrace, Greece.

2004: Fatos Lubonja, author, Albania.

2003: Nebojsa Popov, founder and editor of the Belgrade-based magazine Republika, Serbia.

2002: Christine von Kohl, founder of the Vienna-based magazine Südosteuropäischer Dialog, Austria.

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The South East Europe Media Organisation * Südosteuropäische Medienorganisation * Медијска организација Југоисточне Европе * Medijska organizacija Jugoistočne Europe
Medijska organizacija Jugoistočne Evrope * Organizata mediale e Evropës Juglindore * Medijska organizacija za Jugovzhodno Evropo
Медиумската организација на југоисточна Европа * Organizzazione dei Media del Sud-Est Europa *
l’Organisation des médias du Sud Est de l’Europe
Délkelet-európai Médiaszervezet * Organizácia médií juhovýchodnej Európy * Organizace medií jihovýchodní Evropy * Kaakkois-Euroopan maiden mediajarjesto
Медийна организация за югоизточна Европа * Media Organisatie voor Zuid Oost Europa * Organización de Medios de Comunicación del Sureste Europeo
Dimosiografikos Organismos Notioanatolikis Evropis (Δημοσιογραφικός Οργανισμός Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης) * Медиа Организация Юго-Восточной Европы
Медiа Органiзацiя Пiвденно-Схiдно Європи * Organizacja Medii Poludniowo-Wschodniej Europy * Cənubi-Şərqi Avropa üzrə Media Təşkilatının
Den sydøsteuropæiske medieorganisation * ארגון המדיה הדרום-מזרח אירופי * दक्षिण पूर्वी यूरोप मीडिया संगठन * Güneydoğu Avrupa Medya Örgütü
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