HONG KONG, May 16, 2019 — The Human Rights Press Awards (HRPA) is proud to announce that Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues will be honored with this year’s award for Best Investigative Feature Writing, in recognition of their groundbreaking work “Myanmar Burning,” which documented military atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were released from a Myanmar prison on May 7 after spending 511 days behind bars for allegedly exposing “state secrets” in the course of reporting the celebrated work, a damning investigation into the massacre of 10 Rohingya men and boys by security forces and armed Buddhist civilians.

“In an era when politicians denounce journalists as enemies, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo became symbols of the importance of press freedom and the sacrifices made in its pursuit,” said Stephen J. Adler, Editor-in-Chief of Reuters. The news agency will also take home awards in two other English-language categories: Breaking News and Explanatory Feature writing.

Press freedom defender and CEO of the Philippines-based news website Rappler, Ms Maria Ressa, addresses the Human Rights Press Award Ceremony as keynote speaker.

This year’s ceremony serves as a stark reminder of urgent threats to press freedom across Asia, embodied by keynote speaker Maria Ressa, co-founder and CEO of the Philippines-based news website Rappler. Currently free on bail after her second arrest this year, Ressa speaks on the dangers she and her colleagues face as journalists in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Your reporting matters. Now more than ever. We need to hold the line, and show the best of human nature. That is our hope for the future!” remarked Maria Ressa, as she addressed the audience today.

Now in its 23rd year, HRPA presents 52 awards recognizing outstanding journalism in the area of human rights across Asia. This year saw a record 468 entries in both English and Chinese languages, a 13% increase from last year. A total of 182 entries were submitted in Chinese-language, while 286 were submitted in English.

Winning entries ranged from high-profile issues such as the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya, to under-reported topics such as the extrajudicial killing of Muslims in India or the hardships faced by stateless minority communities living precarious lives on Cambodia’s waterways.

Our annual People’s Choice Photo Award goes to “Three Defendants” by Tsang Hin-chung of Ming Pao, which captures the moment of three activists’ imprisonment. “This photo marks the end of a series of legal process, but as to whether the democratic process will be put on halt, or how the human rights situation in Hong Kong will change, it still demands continual attention of journalists,” Tsang said. The winning shot received 41% of all votes.

Winning Photo of People’s Choice Photo Award: “Three Defendants” by Tsang Hin-chung of Ming Pao.

This year’s English-language Multimedia award goes to a team of reporters for the New York Times covering the devastating collapse of a hydropower dam in Laos. Eleven journalists across six countries contributed to the series comprising two documentaries and a week’s worth of news articles. The Chinese-language Multimedia award goes to Taiwan’s Apple Daily team for “MeToo in Taiwan: Stories of Three Migrant Workers.”

The English-language Documentary Video award goes to “China’s Hidden Camps” by BBC News, which reveals shocking images from Xinjiang’s so-called “re-education” camps where Muslim minorities have been detained. John Sudworth, one of the winning journalists, said the film “captures the full, shocking reality, and makes a major contribution to the sum of public knowledge about China’s system of Muslim internment camps.” The Chinese-language Documentary Video award goes to “The Book Merchant” by Cheng Sze Sze of RTHK, which delves into the power dynamics behind SINO publishing companies.

Merit winning Photo of Photography (Single): “Rohingyas in No Man’s Land” by Ye Ang Thu of AFP.

“The Human Rights Press Award exemplifies the dignity and rights of mankind. When such values are gradually disappearing, these awards and entries are even more precious,” said Bruce Lui, one of the judges for Chinese-language Short Video, Documentary Video, Audio and Multimedia categories.

Lui was among 33 experts in journalism, law and human rights who reviewed entries in 21 categories including breaking news, explanatory features, investigative features and commentary in text and print, multimedia, radio & audio, photography, short video, documentary and student works.

Hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, Amnesty International and the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Human Rights Press Awards was the first honour of its kind in Asia and remains among the region’s most prestigious professional accolades, celebrating journalism that raises awareness about human rights and highlights threats to freedom.

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Breaking News Writing (English)


China’s Crackdown on Student Labour Activists

Sue-Lin Wong and Christian Shepherd of Reuters



Forced Labour in Xinjiang

Emily Feng of Financial Times


On the Eve of Freedom, A Glimpse Inside Liu Xia’s Flat

Becky Davis of AFP


Investigative Feature Writing (English)


Myanmar Burning

Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo and their colleagues of Reuters



A Chronicle of the Crime Fiction that is Adityanath’s Encounter Raj

Neha Dixit of The Wire


Conflict, Conscription and a Cover-up: The Killing of Six TNLA Medics

Clare Hammond, Victoria Milko and Kyaw Lin Htoon of Frontier Myanmar



Explanatory Feature Writing (English)


Tracking China’s Muslim Gulag

Philip Wen, Olzhas Auyezov, Thomas Peter, Christian Inton and Simon Scarr of Reuters



Template for Hate

Rohini Mohan of Harper’s Magazine


Sum of Her Parts: Why are the Majority of Living Organ Donors in India Women?

Sohini Chattopadhyay of The Hindu (India) and The New York Times


Commentary Writing (English)


Why Singapore’s Moves to Curb ‘Fake News’ May Backfire

Kirsten Han



Rakhine: Time for a New Approach

Thomas Kean of Frontier Myanmar


Short Video (English)


Growing Up Too Fast in Afghanistan

Andrew J Phillips and Preethi Nallu of Al Jazeera English



Unhappy Holidays

John Sudworth, Kathy Long, Lily Lee and Wang Xiqing of BBC News



Documentary Video (English)


China’s Hidden Camps

John Sudworth, Kathy Long, Lulu Luo and Wang Xiqing of BBC News




Student/Trafficked: The Final Chapter

Elroi Yee, Shanjeev Reddy and Satpal Kaler of R.AGE


Brides and Brothels: The Rohingya Trade

Karishma Vyas of Al Jazeera English


Multimedia (English)


Series: Laos Dam Collapse

Mike Ives, Ben C. Solomon, Richard C. Paddock, Julia Wallace, Choe Sang-Hun, Muktita Suhartono, Rick Gladstone, Len Leng, Maea Lenei Buhre, Ryn Jirenuwat and Tim Wallace of The New York Times



Too Many Men

Annie Gowen, Simon Denyer and Jasu Hu of The Washington Post


Sichuan Earthquake, 10 Years On: How a Tragedy Changed China

Sarah Zheng, Choi Chi-yuk and Magdalene Fung of South China Morning Post


Student Writing (English)


Periods: Addressing a Taboo and a Need of the Underprivileged

Supriya Chhetri, Gianna Aquino, Janina Rika and Karrie Lam of MSS Messenger, Marymount Secondary School


Student Video & Audio (English)


Lawyer Lin

David Missal of Hong Kong Free Press



Breaking News Writing (Chinese)


Liu Xia Arrives in Germany for Treatment; Fulfilling Liu Xiaobo’s Last Wish; Freedom in the End

China Section of Apple Daily Hong Kong



50 Arrested in Jasic’s 3 Month Labour Movement; Supporters Say State Media Faked News About Foreign Instigators

Chen Yi Qin and Fong Sim Chu of Ming Pao


Edward Leung and 6 Others Charged for Inciting Riots in Mong Kok’s Conflicts

Tai Ching Hei of CitizenNews


Investigative Feature Writing (Chinese)


The Storm of Human Trafficking at Sea

Lee Hsueh Li Sherry and Chiang I Ting of The Reporter



Series: Scandal of the Shatin to Central Link

Investigation Section of Apple Daily Hong Kong


“Save our Kids”: Examining Child Abuse Issues

Yip Kit Ming of CitizenNews


Explanatory Feature Writing (Chinese)


Taiwan: Dangerous Island for Immigrant Workers

Chien Yung Ta of The Reporter



Outcry Behind Bars

Chan Ping Ting of The News Lens


Lawyers Dealing with Poisonous Milk Powder and Problematic Vaccines, What Are They up To?

Qin Kuan of Initium Media


Commentary Writing (Chinese)


Three Secretaries for Justice Sought External Advice on Ten Cases Unrelated to Staff; Grenville said Teresa Cheng Didn’t Understand the Policy of Briefing Out

Ng Yuen Ying of CitizenNews



“We Are Not Here for Fun” – A Reporter’s Mission

Tsai Ching Hua of Opinions@CommonWealth



When Fishing Ground Exploitation Meets International Labour Organisation: Has Taiwan Sensed the Alarm from Cape Town

Sung Chen En Raymond of The Reporter


Short Video (Chinese)


District Councils’ Proxy Votes

Yeung Leung Kit of CABLE News



Government Department Fails to Offer Interpreters in Accordance to Guidelines

Leung Ho Ying of CABLE News

Documentary Video (Chinese)


The Book Merchant

Cheng Sze Sze of RTHK



The Buried Truth

Chan Wai Li Gary and Hui Siu Fun of NowTV


The Melamine Scandal, Ten Years On

Chui Man Kit and Jerran Lin of CABLE News



Audio (Chinese)


The Confession of Rights Lawyer Wang Yu

Chan Miu Ling of RTHK



The Vanished Liberal Think Tanks

Chan Miu Ling of RTHK


Series: Sichuan Earthquake, 10 Years On

Chau Chi Wing of RTHK


Multimedia (Chinese)


MeToo in Taiwan: Stories of Three Migrant Workers

Ho Po Chun, Hou Liang Ju, Lin Huan Cheng, Chen Wei Chou, Chen Ting Jen, Wu Yi Jing, Wang Shih Chuan, Hu Tsu Wei, Hsueh Ho Chi, Keng Shih Ting and Wang Wen Ting of Apple Daily Taiwan



Unavoidable Currents – Survey of China’s #MeToo

Yang Zi Qi, Yang Yu, Jin Qiu Feng, Tseng Lee Yu and Rango Zhu of Initium Media



Student Writing (Chinese)


Half a Century of Heavy Metal Pollution Gives Villagers Deformed Limbs

Liu Dicksa Isabelle, Lam Sum Yi, Shen Qing and Cheung Tung of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK



40 Years After the Yau Ma Tei Boat People Resistance: The Chronicle of Unlawful Assembly

Yu Ka Hin, Ng Wing and Yiu Wing Tung of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK


Inheriting Domestic Violence – How to Escape the Grip of Fate

Kan Hiu Wai, Ng Tsz Kiu and Ng Wing of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK



Student Video & Audio (Chinese)


Autism – A Long Way to Integration

Au Sin Yi, Chan Chun Yiu, Kwok Wing Yee and Ng Chun Chun of U-Beat Magazine, CUHK


Photography (Single Image)


Underground Church in China

Lam Yik Fei of The New York Times



Rohingyas in No Man’s Land

Ye Aung Thu of AFP


Photography (Series)


The Looted Honor

Mohammad Rakibul Hasan of Ilta-Sanomat



Where a Taboo is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls in Parts of Western Nepal

Tara Todras-Whitehill of The New York Times


People’s Choice Photo Award


Three Defendants

Tsang Hin Chung of Ming Pao




HKJA statement on May 21 briefing to foreign correspondents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ representative in Hong Kong
HKJA regrets the obstruction of news coverage by Legco security guards, and demands Legco President to clarify his position