MUMBAI: An ABC News 20/20 report in the US, documenting systematic
sexual exploitation of girls and boys by UN peacekeepers and civilians
in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been awarded the Outstanding
Investigative Reporting prize for 2005 by the International Consortium
of Investigative Journalists, the international arm of the American
organisation Center for Public Integrity.
The ICIJ Award
judges said the ABC 20/20 report represented "investigative journalism at
its finest" and was "a riveting expose, a story superbly told."For
the first time, the atrocities and rights violations on the part of
and its representatives are exposed and documented. ABC did its homework, took
its cameras to the crime scenes in the Congo, convinced victims to tell their
awful stories on the record and then nailed UN officials, also on camera, for
their inadequate responses to UN 'peacekeepers' having sex with young girls and
boys," the judges wrote in their letter of commendation.
In ABC 20/20's
Peace at What Price: Investigating UN Misconduct in the Congo, Brian Ross,
David Wilson Scott and Rhonda Schwartz travelled to the Congo where they interviewed
victims and revealed, among other things, the case of a senior UN official who
ran an Internet paedophile ring.
In addition, Sweden's TV4 won a special
citation award of $2,000 for its hour-long documentary The Broken Promise
which exposed US government involvement in the "extraordinary rendition,"
of two Egyptian citizens from Sweden to Egypt. Fredrik Laurin, Joachim Dyfvermark,
and Sven Bergman revealed how the men were interrogated and tortured for more
than 60 days as part of the US global war on terrorism.
The ICIJ Awards
were created in 1997 to honour transnational investigative reporting. The $20,000
first-place prize and $1,000 finalist awards are made possible by a grant from
The John and Florence Newman Foundation to recognise, reward and foster international
investigative reporting. Award winners and finalists include journalists from
Bulgaria, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Four entries received
the $1,000 finalist award:
-- Miroluba Emilova Benatova of Bulgaria's bTV
for her television
investigation Kidney Traffic.
-- Alfredo Corchado,
Tracey Eaton, Laurence Iliff, and David McLemore of the Dallas Morning News, for
their series documenting drug related violence along the US-Mexico border.
-- Ola Flyum, David Hebditch of NRK/SVT/and DR Television in Norway for
documentary The Manuscript Collector/Stealing History.
-- Daniel Foggo
and Charlotte Edwardes of The Sunday Telegraph in the U.K.
for their series
of stories on illegal abortions.