OCCRP Reporter Wins Knight International Journalism Award
An OCCRP reporter in Russia and a Pakistani journalist who both exposed high-level corruption in their countries were awarded the Knight International Journalism Award for 2013, the International Center for Journalists announced Tuesday.
Roman Anin, a reporter for the Russian daily Novaya Gazeta, was recognized for his investigative work which, over five years, has shed light on a global system of corruption created and nurtured by Russian oligarchs and politicians. Four of his colleagues have been murdered, but Anin has continued to document corruption among the Russian elite, ICFJ said. His work unveiled the disappearance of $1 billion from Russia’s budget, which ended up in offshore accounts and shell companies throughout Europe. This exploration resulted in investigaanimtions in five countries and the European Union.
Anin also broke a story, in concert with Sweden’s public broadcaster, Sveriges Television (SVT), on a corrupt deal between Swedish telecom TeliaSonera and the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, which prompted the resignation of the telecom’s CEO. Anin’s contributions to some of OCCRP’s biggest stories have been “wonderful from an editor’s perspective,” OCCRP Editor Drew Sullivan said, adding that the organization was proud to work with him.
Umar Cheeva, the other recipient of the Knight International Journalism Award, was recognized for consistent, powerful reports on government corruption among Pakistan’s political elite. His investigation into the tax records of more than 400 politicians revealed that 70 percent of legislators and President Asif Ali Zardari did not file income taxes in 2011. The report led to implementation of new tax return transparency laws in Pakistan. Cheema was kidnapped and tortured in 2010 for his work, but has continued to report on local issues. Among his other stories was a report on how car smugglers collected large profits without paying taxes, and an expose on the inefficiency of Pakistan’s legislators.
Anin and Cheema will be honored at an awards dinner in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7.