A freelance photojournalist from Indian occupied Kashmir, has been awarded the 2020 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. Masrat Zahra was named winner for her work covering events in occupied Kashmir with a specific focus on women in the region. Zahra will be honoured with the award in a virtual ceremony in New York on Sept 24, 2020.
Applauding Zahra’s work, the award citation noted that over the course of her work, Zahra was “summoned by the [Indian] police and accused of spreading fake news and giving support to enemies of the state”.
In late April, Zahra was charged under Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA) for her work which she had uploaded on social media. Under this stringent law, a suspect can be jailed for up to seven years.
Previously, Zahra was awarded the 2020 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award by International Women’s Media Foundation which celebrates the courageous work of women photojournalists.