The Human Rights Press Awards celebrated its 20th birthday at the Maritime Museum on May 6, with a standing-
room-only crowd of 170 participants, supporters and guests.
For the first time, grand-prize winners were given the chance to speak to the audience directly about their experiences. Several flew in from overseas to do so.
Esther Htusan, who recently became the first Burmese to win a Pulitzer Prize, caught a 1:30 a.m. flight from Yangon early that day to make the event on Friday night – after securing a last-minute visa from the Chinese Embassy. After a much-needed cappuccino at the FCC, she went on to the Maritime Museum to make a heart-felt speech about how the Associated Press’s coverage of abuses in the seafood industry resulted in the freeing of 2,000 modern-day slaves. Her work – created with three other women from AP – won the HRPA’s grand prize in English-language news coverage.
Al Jazeera’s Chan Tau Chou, who won the grand prize in English-language broadcasting with “The Invisible Children of Sabah, Malaysia”, dedicated his prize tothe world’s stateless people.
The event also allowed the HRPA’s founders to have their first official reunion in two decades. Robyn Kilpatrick, who was Amnesty International Hong Kong’s chairperson in the mid-90s, flew in from Australia to speak about the importance of keeping projects like the HRPA alive. She was joined by co-founder Francis Moriarty and Angela Lee, a HRPA photo judge who was been with the organisation from the very beginning.
The HRPA could not survive without financial support, and so flowers and a special trophy designed by Henry Steiner – who also designed HRPA’s logo – were given to Anne Marden, who has donated to the Awards since their very first year in 1996.
For full winners list and more information, go to HumanRightsPressAwards.org.
Photos by HKHRPA/Bridgette Hall