Due to continuing uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and the Hong Kong government’s advice to limit large gatherings, the organisers of Human Rights Press Awards have decided to cancel the 2021 awards ceremony.
The winners will be announced online on May 6. Voting for the People’s Choice Photography Award will also go ahead online, starting today. Those images will be displayed, as in past years, on the Wall at the FCC.
The Human Rights Press Awards, in their 25th year, are organised by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The awards are the most prestigious recognition of human rights reporting in Asia.
This year saw a record 549 entries in both English and Chinese languages, up 12.5% from last year. We have received an excellent variety of powerful writing – work that highlights crucial issues facing individuals and communities in what has been an extraordinary year for world news.
It should also be noted that for the first time in the awards’ history, we received a request from the director of broadcasting at RTHK, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, that RTHK’s entries be withdrawn “in totality” from consideration for the awards, citing a review of its corporate governance including the nomination procedure for the awards. However, because the judging process for the awards is already underway, and because entries can only be withdrawn by the individual who submitted them, we denied the request and have not withdrawn any RTHK entries.
Showcasing these works has become more important than ever as governments around the region step up threats to basic freedoms of the press, speech and expression.