Excellence in journalism: Top Italian prize for Saleem Shahzad

Jury notes he had to pay with his life for his desire to tell the truth at all costs.


June 11, 2011

ROME:


Italy’s Ischia Prize Foundation announced on Friday that it will confer a posthumous honour upon Pakistani reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad. The decision to award Shahzad was a unanimous one and was backed by all members of the jury. The annual prize honours excellence in journalism and communication.


Shahzad, Pakistan correspondent for Adnkronos International, Asia Times Online and La Stampa, was abducted in Islamabad and tortured to death by unidentified men on May 29. He was found dead two days later, some 150 kilometres southwest of Islamabad.

In their citations, members of the Ischia prize jury described Shahzad as “inquiring and enthusiastic” journalist who “did in-depth reporting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he interviewed various jihadist commanders, as well as in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, Iran, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.”

“An expert in international terrorism, Shahzad with his illuminating analyses of international terrorism, and the social and cultural reality so different from our own, he embodied a passionate and courageous model for journalism which viewed the profession as the supreme mission for peace and culture,” said the Ischia Prize Foundation.

“Through his articles published by AKI, and his in-depth reports and stories for the various dailies he worked for, Shahzad managed to bring to an Italian audience the complex reality of that region of the world of which he was an acute and intrepid observer. He paid with his life for his desire to tell the truth at all costs.”

Shahzad is survived by his wife and three children aged 7, 10 and 13. His wife Anita will collect the award.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.

COMMENTS (6)

Anwar Rajput | 10 years ago | Reply Let the rulers of the islamic republic of pakistan know that syed saleem shehzad has paid the heavy price by sacrificing his life for speaking facts ande truth and his death has caused his orphaned children have no moey even to pay their monthly school fee. Thr PM must give immediate sanction to pay at least Rs.20 lac as a token of relief measure to the shaheed-e-sahafat grieved family in karachi..Also Rs.10 lac be given to the grieved family of slain youth shaheed sarfaraz. The only conclusion of these two inhuman acts of barbarity, coming one after another is the that the day-light abduction of saleem shehzad and then tortured to death was enacted as replay in the day-light killing of sarfraz by the state machine.The rulers seem to forget their state responsibilities towards people's life and security and they are giving an impression to the outside world that we are a failed state.
Jehangir | 10 years ago | Reply Undoubtedly, honouring Shehzad is overdue. But, more importantly, his work, his books be made available to the world. This apart, the family of Shehzad should receive compensation to live a life in peace and comfort, educating his kids, and meeting all expenses. The Government of Pakistan should provide a plot / home to the family of Shehzad May God Bless Shehzad`s family with the courage shehzad had.
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