WASHINGTON, D.C. – Vahid Pourostad, a reporter with RFE/RL’s Persian Language Service, Radio Farda, was a Silver Radio Winner at the 2013 New York Festivals International Radio Programs and Promos Awards for his radio documentary, “Solitary Confinement.”
The program, an 18-part journey to what Pourostad calls “these solitary cells and quasi-graves,” was honored in the category of “Best Investigative Report” for its unflinching account of the horrors faced by some of Iran’s most prominent activists, journalists and intellectuals currently imprisoned in the country’s most unseen and unspeakable places.
Although broadcast on Radio Farda, these stories are banned by censors in Iran.
Pourostad, a journalist with Radio Farda in Prague since 2011, himself endured weeks of solitary confinement in Iran’s notorious Evin prison in 2010 as punishment for his reporting.
RFE/RL Acting President and CEO Kevin Klose said, “Vahid’s award is a profound tribute to him. It also represents hard-earned and deserved recognition of the role Radio Farda plays in Iran by providing Iranians with independent, necessary and truthful reporting about themselves and their society.”
Accepting the award at a gala in New York’s Manhattan Penthouse on June 17, Pourostad paid tribute to all Iranian men and women held in solitary confinement since Iran’s revolution in 1979, and honored the struggle of the journalists currently imprisoned.
In addition to the New York Festivals award, “Solitary Confinement” was a “highly commended” finalist at the 2012 AIB’s Global Media Excellence Awards.
Radio Farda’s Farshid Manafi, who won two awards at the New York Festivals in 2011, was a finalist this year in the category of “Best Comedy/Humor Personality: Local Market,” for his signature satire program, “Pas Farda.” Manafi was also a member of this year’s New York Festivals Grand Jury.
The 2013 New York Festivals awards recognized programming from 36 countries in over 100 categories. The annual competition honors excellence in radio programming and promotions in all lengths and formats from stations, networks and producers around the globe.
RFE/RL is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 21 countries, including Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).