The South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) awarded Alhurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi and his cameraman Cüneyt Ünal its 10th annual Human Rights Award on Dec. 6th in Istanbul.
“Bashar is a brave and dedicated journalist who risked his life to report from a war zone, I could not imagine a more deserving recipient of the SEEMO Human Rights Award,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff. “We strenuously call on anyone that has Bashar to release him immediately and allow him come home to his family.”
“Journalists are being killed in various war zones in the world, are being held captive or accused of being guilty because of crimes they did not commit. My husband is one of them…for 109 days I have been screaming that my husband is not a terrorist, but a journalist,” stated Fahmi’s wife Arzu Kadumi said in an interview following the ceremony (translated from Turkish). “When he comes home, I would like to give him the prize with my own hands.”
Fahmi disappeared in Aleppo, Syria on August 20th when he was caught in a firefight in Aleppo, Syria. The gun battle resulted in the death of Japan Press’ Mika Yamamoto and the disappearance of Fahmi. His cameraman, Ünal, who also went missing during the firefight was released by the Syrian government last month. There has been no official acknowledgement of Fahmi’s status.
SEEMO is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, news agencies and new media in South, East and Central Europe. With its committees, SEEMO aims to create a bridge between international media activities and the media developments in the region. The SEEMO Human Rights Award was established in 2002 in connection with the International Human Rights Day on 10 December.