Winners Announced: Human Rights Religious Freedom Journalism Awards – 2022 - IAMC

Winners Announced: Human Rights Religious Freedom Journalism Awards – 2022


Washington, DC (June 19, 2022) The Indian American Muslim Council, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today announced the winners of the annual Human Rights and Religious Freedom Journalism Awards. 

Extraordinary and in-depth reporting covering the targeting of religious minorities under the anti-conversion laws, persecution of Muslims during COVID-19, and human rights violations in Kashmir were among the stories that earned top honors at the virtual award ceremony held on Sunday, June 19.

“We constituted these awards to highlight stories and amplify voices that are often missing from the mainstream/elite media. This year our jury chose winners in the extremely troubled times when media in India is under immense pressure from the ruling government,” said Syed Ali, President of IAMC 

“The courage shown by the journalists to cover stories on pressing issues concerning Indian minorities and marginalized communities is commendable. We are honored to play our role in honoring and recognizing journalism that holds power to account and highlights how India is becoming extremely unsafe for its nearly 300 million religious minorities,” Ali added.

Prominent American journalist Amy Goodman, who is the host and executive producer of the global news hour Democracy Now! while delivering the keynote speech expressed concerns about India’s disturbing trends toward authoritarianism and lauded journalists for their courageous work.

“When powerful forces seek to suppress the truth, to censor information, the practice of journalism becomes even more difficult and all too often dangerous,” Goodman said in her keynote address. 

“You all have registered win for democracy as you work under increasingly difficult circumstances often at great personal risk to bring central truths about India one of the most populous and diverse nations on the planet.”

Dr. Yvonne Ridley, British Journalist, and author echoed Goodman’s views and said “India has become one of the dangerous places for journalists to write critically about certain aspects of India including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi.”

“HRRF Journalism awards give respite and hope to Indian journalists who work fearlessly on the ground delivering the unpalatable truth,” Dr. Ridley added.

Gypsy Guillen Kaiser, the advocacy and communications director at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) spoke about the persecution of Muslim journalists in India.

“Our annual prison census found that India set a country record last year for the largest number of detained journalists and the vast majority of journalists detained in India as of December 1, 2021 are Muslims,” 

“The worrying trends in India make HRRF Journalism awards all the more important to uplift and celebrate the invaluable work of the Indian journalist and to remind us of the responsibility that we all share in working to keep them safe,” Guillen Kaiser added.

This year, we received more than 250 entries across five categories. The Human Rights and Religious Freedom Journalism Awards winners, sharing 300,000 INR in prizes, are:

Best Text Reporting on Human Rights & Religious Freedom category (Winner)

Akanksha Kumar (Newslaundry)

The curious case of ‘1,000 conversions’: Who is Umar Gautam? »

How did Mannu Yadav and Aditya Gupta convert to Islam? »

‘I don’t recognise the man on TV’: Meet the Muslim converts Umar Gautam helped »

How some media reports on UP’s ‘conversion racket’ only focus on the police version »

Use of psychological pressure by calling others ‘kafir’: UP ATS chargesheet in Umar Gautam case »

Best Video Story on Human Rights and Religious Freedom (Joint Winner)

Shahid Tantray (The Caravan Magazine)

“Dirty design”: Is India trying to create a Shia-Sunni divide in Kashmir?»

Priyanka Thirumurthy (The News Minute)

Battling Hate and a Virus »

Best Photo Story on Human Rights and Religious Freedom (Winner)

Syed Shahriyar (The New Issue Magazine UK)

Body of Evidence »

HRRF Young Journalist of the Year Award (Joint Winner)

Ismat Ara (The Wire)

In Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, Muslim Residents Move Court to Protect Temple from Encroachment »

UP: Family Awaits Compensation, Struggles to Get By After Losing Son to Police Torture »

From ‘Gang Buddies’ to ‘Hum Hindu, Tu Mulla’: The Many Sides of Rahul Khan’s Murder »

In New India, Muslims Break Part of Mosque To Avoid Conflict With Temple Authority »

My Boy Is Mentally Unstable Minor’: Mother of Muslim Teen Accused of ‘Love Jihad’ in UP »

Aishwarya S Iyer (

Two years after Delhi violence, riots accused from RSS-BJP aim to be elected civic leaders »

Two years after Delhi violence, what explains the police’s continued ‘defence of the accused’?»

Investigation: How VHP and Madhya Pradesh police colluded to put a Christian pastor in jail »

In Gurugram, the number of namaz sites has shrunk to 20 from over 100 in three years »

How Hindutva hijacked India’s child protection body »

Best Media Organisation Covering Human Rights and Religious Freedom Journalism (Joint Winner)

Article 14 »

The Mooknayak »

Watch the video presentation on IAMC youtube channel: