A female freelance photojournalist Masrat Zahra from Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) has won the 2020 Peter Mackler Award in the category of Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
She won the award for portraying events with a special focus on women in Occupied Kashmir.
Catherine Antoine, president of the Global Media Forum Training Group and the founder of the Peter Mackler Award said in a note that,
“Masrat Zahra exhibits the very qualities that my late husband, Peter Mackler, fostered in the new generation of reporters whose path he crossed.”
She further added,
“Masrat’s complete dedication to reporting the story, no matter the risks, along with her mental fearlessness and creative approach to using any medium at her disposal to bear witness to the world made our choice easy.”
During an online interview with the Peter Mackler ward, Zahra said from her in Srinagar city that,
“It’s our job to work and show the truth and you have to take risks to do it.”
She expressed how much blessed she is for highlighting the stories of Kashmiri women, who have been ignored in a conflict zone.
The award citation applauded Zahra’s work and noted that she was being arrested by the police, was accused of spreading fake news and supporting the state’s enemies.
Earlier in April, Masarat Zahra for uploading her work on social media was charged under Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA).
In late April, Zahra was charged under the Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA) for her work which she had uploaded on social media. Under this stringent law, a suspect can be jailed for up to seven years.
Apart from Peter Mackler Award, Zahra was also honored with the 2020 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award by the International Women’s Media Foundation.
On Sept. 24, 2020, Zahra will be honored in a virtual ceremony with the award in New York City.