Reuters wins Pulitzer for Rohingya persecution coverage

Exiled to nowhere

On Monday, 14 April 2014, Reuters was awarded its first-ever Pulitzer Prize for text reporting for the series, “The War on the Rohingya‬” The Pulitzer committee recognized Reuters reporters Jason Szep, Andrew R.C. Marshall and team for “their courageous reports on the violent persecution of” Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya.

Rohingya Muslim women in Sittwe, Myanmar. Photo: Reuters

Rohingya Muslim women in Sittwe, Myanmar. Photo: Reuters

The nomination letter:
For two years, Reuters reporters have been tirelessly investigating a conflict in a forgotten corner of the Muslim world: the dirty war against the Rohingya of Myanmar.
The Rohingya are a stateless and friendless Muslim people li
ving in Myanmar and Bangladesh, and their oppression has triggered one the biggest movements of boat people since the Vietnam War. Reporters Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall in 2012 documented how majority-Buddhist Myanmar’s democratization was unleashing long-suppressed hatreds. In one report, they exposed how a Buddhist-nationalist political party organized the country’s bloodiest pogroms in decades, amounting to ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya. Myanmar ignored these abuses as it drew praise abroad for its shift from dictatorship.
They stayed on the story in 2013, producing powerful investigations that brought the international dimensions of this overlooked injustice to world attention. Two stories uncovered evidence of Thai government involvement in the trafficking and abuse of Rohingya Muslims who were seeking haven abroad. The news had dramatic impact: Citing Reuters coverage, Thai police in late January this year rescued hundreds of refugees held at a human-trafficking camp and arrested three suspected trafficking ringleaders.
Each story submitted here required extensive and often dangerous field work in several countries, including remote, rarely traveled areas of Myanmar and next-door Thailand.
The April 8 story, “Buddhist monks incite Muslim killings in Myanmar,” revealed a massacre of Muslims in the city of Meikhtila. Reuters was the first news organization to report and reconstruct the March 21 massacre 
of at least 25 Muslims, including children. The story uncovered a mass grave where bodies were being burned, prompting a follow-up investigation by New York-based Physicians for Human Rights. The challenges were formidable. When Szep arrived, on March 25, the killers were still on the streets. Some tried to intimidate the journalists, warning them away from certain areas. Soldiers refused to let Szep speak with Muslims at refugee centers. Some survivors would speak only in dark alleyways. It took weeks or months for rival news organizations to produce similar accounts.
Szep’s May 15 story, “In Myanmar, apartheid tactics against minority Muslims,” revealed how tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya were kept in permanent, prison-like ghettos near the city of Sittwe in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Szep and a Reuters photographer concealed themselves in a motorized trishaw to enter Sittwe’s last remaining Muslim quarter, which was locked down by soldiers. Szep skirted the barricaded checkpoints to document the rise of apartheid in modern-day Myanmar.

Special Report: Thailand secretly supplies Myanmar refugees to trafficking rings

Mauritania’s Strategic Significance

 Some clues which might explain why Mauritania under Aziz is a strategically important “security partner”:
  • Free media training by foreign “experts”; more powers for press authority; unprecedented churn in state media at all levels; funding problems for independent media.
  • New legislation to gag whistleblowers and bloggers approved by Aziz, to be ratified by a government severely weakened by the opposition election boycott.
  • Aziz, sanctioned by the African Union after leading the last coup, is now in charge of the African Union
  • A 10,000-strong UN “peacekeeping” force plus additional police is now planned for deployment in CAR - taking control of 6,000 African Union troops, and with 2,000 French troops “allowed” to support.
  • Calls from the political fringe in Libya, hastily and enthusiastically echoed by France, for border security, using troops from neighboring countries AND non-neighbor Mauritania.
  • Patrol vessels and helicopters from Spain‘s gendarmerie to be deployed in Mauritania for border security against smuggling and illegal immigration, after claiming the first Spanish military arrivals a few months ago were there for a “training exercise”
  • The USA, after years of maintaining a “hands-off” policy, is now engaged in joint patrols with Mauritania border security.

News from Iran – Week 15 – 2014


Prisoners’ News


  • Hasan Javani transferred to solitary in Bandar Abbas prison.
  • Mohammad Seifzadeh transferred to Tehran Heart hospital.


  • Meyad Ahmadi arrested in Sanandaj.
  • Mahmoud Bagheri is back to prison at the end of furlough.
  • Rahman Ghahremanpour-Bonab is back to prison at the end of furlough.
  • Ghazab Golparipour, brother of executed Kurdish prisoner Habibollah Golparipour, arrested in Sanandaj.
  • Shahoo Heidari, arrested in Sanandaj.
  • Nader Jani is back to prison at the end of furlough.
  • Hamid Kerbasi is back to prison at the end of furlough.
  • Nasour Naghipour is back to prison at the end of furlough.


  • Reza Malek (Malekian) released at the end of his sentence.

D-Other News

  • Mahmoud Fazli, Azeri civil activist, begins hunger strike at Central Prison of Tabriz.

News of injustice in Iran

  • Blogger Vahid Asghari prevented from attending his trial.
  • Mohammad Karimi, Kurdish workers’ rights activist, sentenced to 2 years in prison
  • Jamal Minashiri, Kurdish workers’ rights activist, sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.
  • Ebrahim and Ghasem Mostafapour, Kurdish workers’ rights activists, sentenced to 2 years in prison
  • Mohsen Rahmani, political activist and student, sentenced to 7 years in prison.
  • Hadi Tavanmand, Kurdish workers’ rights activist, sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.
  • One hanging in Ardabil on Tuesday.

University – Culture

  • Cheshmeh Publications banned under Ahmadinejad resumes activity after more than 2 years.
  • 10,500 students left Iran in one year.
  • ‘Sugarland’ and ‘Adventures of Mirzabalad’ grab best film award at Irish animated film festival.
  • Maziar Maleki, Baha’i student, expelled from Birjand University.


  • Two hundred workers from the Zagros Steel Factory gathered in front of the ministry of labour in Qaravah in Kurdistan Province to protest the closure of their factory.
  • Basij protest in front of Embassy of Greece in Tehran condemning EU resolution on Iran.

Iran abroad

  • Spain arrests four accused of attempting to export equipment to Iran.
  • IRCG claims arrests of several ‘spies’ at the border between Iraq and Khuzestan.
  • Iran’s choice for UN post denied access to the USA.
  • Rouhani and supreme leader meet Azerbaijan president.

Iran Economics

  • 9-month delay in paying the salaries of 127 workers of Rasht Nopoush factory.


  • Iranian athlete wins gold medal at IPC Powerlifting Championships.
  • Massoumeh Ebtekar injured in a car crash on Wednesday.

As usual, list of political prisoners in Iran:

Please help us to keep it updated

Des Nouvelles d’Iran – Semaine 15-2014


Nouvelles des Prisonniers


  • Hassan Djavani transféré à l’isolement à la prison de Bandar Abbas.
  • Mohammad Seifzadeh a été transféré à l’hôpital du Coeur de Téhéran.



  • Meyad Ahmadi arrêté à Sanandaj.
  • Mahmoud Bagheri est de retour en prison à la fin de sa liberté provisoire.
  • Nader Djani est de retour en prison à la fin de sa liberté provisoire.
  • Rahman Ghahremanpour-Bonab est de retour en prison à la fin de sa liberté provisoire.
  • Ghazab Golparipour, frère du prisonnier kurde exécuté Habibollah Golparipour, arrêté à Sanandaj.
  • Shahoo Heidari arrêté à Sanandaj.
  • Hamid Kerbasi est de retour en prison à la fin de sa liberté provisoire.
  • Nassour Naghipour est de retour en prison à la fin de sa liberté provisoire.



  • Reza Malek (Malekian) libéré à la fin de sa peine.


D-Autres Nouvelles

  • Mahmoud Fazli, militant azéri, en grève de la faim à la prison de Tabriz.


Nouvelles de l’injustice en Iran

  • Le bloggeur Vahid Asghari interdit d’assister à son propre procès.
  • Mohammad Karimi, syndicaliste kurde, condamné à 2 ans de prison.
  • Djamal Minashiri, syndicaliste kurde, condamné à 3,5 ans de prison.
  • Ebrahim et Ghassem Mostafapour, syndicalistes kurdes, condamnés à 2 ans de prison.
  • Mohsen Rahmani, étudiant et militant politique, condamné à 7 ans de prison.
  • Hadi Tavanmand, syndicaliste kurde, condamné à 3,5 ans de prison.
  • Une pendaison a Ardabil mardi.


L’université – la Culture

  • Les éditions Cheshmeh interdites sous Ahmadinejad reprennent leurs activités après plus de 2 ans.
  • 10.500 étudiants ont quitté l’Iran en un an.
  • ‘Sugarland’ et ‘Adventures of Mirzabalad’ gagnent le prix du meilleur film au festival iralndais de dessin animé.
  • Maziar Maleki, étudiant bahaï, expulse de l’université de Birdjand.



  • 200 ouvriers de l’aciérie Zagros Steel Factory se sont rassemblés devant le ministère du travail à Gharavah au Kurdistan pour manifester contre la fermeture de leur usine.
  • Manifestation des bassidj devant l’ambassade de Grèce à Téhéran pour condamner la résolution de l’Union Européenne sur l’Iran.


L’Iran à l’étranger

  • Quatre arrestations en Espagne pour tentative d’exportation d’équipement vers l’Iran.
  • Les gardes révolutionnaires prétendent avoir arrêté des ‘espions’ à la frontière entre l’Irak et le Khouzestan.
  • La personne choisie comme ambassadeur d’Iran à l’ONU se voit refuser l’accès aux Etats-Unis.
  • Le guide suprême et Rouhani rencontrent le président d’Azerbaïdjan.


L’économie en Iran

  • Les 127 ouvriers de l’usine Nopoush de Rasht n’ont pas été payés depuis 9 mois.


Nouvelles en vrac

  • Un athlète iranien gagne le championnat du monde IPC d’haltérophilie.
  • Massoumeh Ebtekar blessée dans un accident de voiture mercredi.


Et toujours, la liste des prisonniers politiques en Iran (en Anglais) :

Aidez-nous à la tenir à jour

News from Iran – Week 14 – 2014


Prisoners’ News


  • Mohammad-Amin Abdollahi transferred to solitary after he launches hunger strike.


  • Cultural Arab activist Emar Abeyat arrested and sent to Dezfoul prison.

  • Nava and Nika Khalousi arrested to begin serving sentence.


  • Semnan student Mohammad-Amin Roghani freed at the end of his sentence.

D-Other News

  • Kurdish political activist Fakhroldin Faraji is on hunger strike.

  • Leftist student Arash Mohammadi on hunger strike to support Shahrokh Zamani.

  • Christian convert Vahid Hakani on hunger strike.

News of injustice in Iran

  • Student Afsaneh Bayazidi sentenced to 2 years suspended for affiliation to banned Kurdish group.

University – Culture

  • Mehran Tamadon wins French Cinema du Réel Prize.


  • Silent protest in front of Pakistani consulate in Mashhad on Sunday.

Iran abroad

  • India released an Iranian ship detained for the last two years.

  • 1st vice-president says Iran does not seek indefinite power for Assad.

  • Iranian border guards released in the hands of Iranian authorities.

  • EU calls for more relations with Iran after nuclear agreement, based on respect of human rights.

  • Boeing gets US license to sell spare parts to Iran.

Iran Economics

  • Iran trades 1,859 MW of electricity with neighboring countries.

  • Russia, Iran announce $20 billion oil-for-goods deal.


  • Iranian police seize over 1 ton of narcotics in Kerman province.

  • Mudslides and floods hit several Iranian provinces.

  • Precipitation in Iran decreases by 8 percent.

  • Historic monument Badi-Ol-Hokama destroyed in Hamedan.

As usual, list of political prisoners in Iran:

Please help us to keep it updated