Netzwerk Recherche, the German association of investigative journalists, awards the „Leuchtturm für besondere publizistische Leistungen“ (Lighthouse Award for Extraordinary Achievements in Journalism) to the two Iranian journalists Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi for their courageous reporting on the death of Jina Mahsa Amini.
“Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi are role models. Their work shows us how important and relevant a free press is – and how much power journalistic investigations can unleash,” says Daniel Drepper, chairman of Netzwerk Recherche.
The two journalists had first reported on the death of the young Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini. Amini, who had been arrested by Iranian morality police, died in mid-September. The case sparked the most serious protests in Iran in years. The Iranian intelligence corps calls the two journalists “foreign agents” and accuses them of propaganda against the state.
Hamedi and Mohammadi have been imprisoned for around eight months and are currently being tried in camera at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. They are not the only media representatives being targeted by the Iranian government. Almost a hundred journalists have been arrested and their relatives threatened.
“Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi are an inspiration and motivation for all journalists worldwide. Their work shows what journalism is capable of. That is why we are honouring them with the Netzwerk Recherche Lighthouse Award,” says Daniel Drepper.
This year’s „Leuchtturm für besondere publizistische Leistungen“ honours Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi for their courage in reporting critically despite repression by the Iranian state. However, they also receive it on behalf of all protesters in Iran who defend human rights in their home country because of the reporting of the two journalists.
“Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi knew they would face consequences for reporting on the death of Jina Mahsa Amini. They went about their task anyway because they are convinced that journalism is nothing more than shedding light on the dark,” says Iranian journalist Omid Rezaee, who will give the laudatory speech for the award winners.
The award will be presented at the two-day annual conference of Netzwerk Recherche at the public broadcaster NDR in Hamburg. The award ceremony will take place on 16 June 2022 at 3:15 pm (CEST). The award ceremony and other events of the conference will be broadcasted via livestream.