The Global Investigative Journalism Network Recognizes Two OCCRP Investigations

Published: 19 September 2013


Two major investigative features from the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) have been nominated for the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)'s Global Shining Light Award.

Khadija Ismayilova, OCCRP regional coordinator, is nominated for her investigation of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's family in a collaboration with reporters Nushabe Fatullayeva, Pavla Holcova, and Jaromir Hason of Radio Free Europe and the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism.  Ismayilova faced an intense campaign of threats, smears, and blackmail during her investigations.  Azerbaijan is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders.

Miranda Patrucic, Valerie Hopkins, and Drew Sullivan of the OCCRP also received a nomination for “First Family, First Bank,” a two year investigation into allegations of corruption against Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Paul Radu, executive director at OCCRP, said, "OCCRP reporters are able to track down and expose corruption at national and international levels and to untangle sophisticated criminal schemes put together by international crime syndicates."

"The reporting by news organizations from emerging democracies is becoming stronger every year and it’s giving voice to a lot of people and stories that have been ignored," said Drew Sullivan, OCCRP editor and contributor to “First Family, First Bank”.  "We’re humbled to have two finalists in this important award that honors these reporters and the challenges they face."

The Global Shining Light Award is given to "investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions."

"The quality of entries this year was extraordinary,” said GIJN Director David E. Kaplan. “These stories demonstrate that quality investigative journalism has become a global phenomenon."

The OCCRP is comprised of 18 investigative centers and commercial news organization across the globe. With a focus on cross-border journalism, the OCCRP employs 80 reporters regularly producing more than 60 investigative stories per year.