Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

IWPR Contributor Nominated for Prestigious Freedom of Expression Award

Human rights journalist in running for internationally recognised prize.
  • Gaziza Baituova, IWPR’s long-term contributor from Kazakstan. (Photo: IWPR)
    Gaziza Baituova, IWPR’s long-term contributor from Kazakstan. (Photo: IWPR)

One of IWPR’s long-term contributors from Kazakstan, Gaziza Baituova, has been nominated for the Index on Censorship Journalism Award 2017.

A human rights reporter, Baituova has been working for IWPR for 16 years, covering topics including media freedom and online surveillance.

Gaziza, who is currently based in Almaty, said, “I’m thankful to all [those] who provided comments for my stories. It wouldn’t be possible to report at all without their contribution,” Baituova said.

“At IWPR, I feel part of a big and friendly creative family.”

Gaziza was among the few people to report on the 2016 Kazak data security law.

(See Kazak State Tightens Grip on the Internet).

This legal initiative was widely discussed on professional IT forums worldwide but received little attention inside the country, leaving locals unaware of changes.

Baituova’s story on Kazak children infected with HIV at public hospitals won first prize in a national online journalism competition.

(See also Kazak HIV Scare Reveals Broader Healthcare Problems).

Her coverage of female trafficking in southern Kazakstan was also praised by the Kazak-European Foundation for Legal Research and Innovations.

(See Kazak Women Sold as Sex Slaves).

Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression awards are offered each year in four categories: Art, Campaigning, Digital Activism and Journalism.

The shortlist will be announced on January 17. Winners will be announced at a Gala celebration in London at the Unicorn Theatre on April 19.

IWPR’s Syria coordinator Zaina Erhaim won the Freedom of Expression for journalism award in 2016, while another IWPR contributor, Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov, won the same prize in 2012.

This article was produced under an IWPR project called Strengthening Capacities, Bridging Divides in Central Asia, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway.

As coronavirus sweeps the globe, IWPR’s network of local reporters, activists and analysts are examining the economic, social and political impact of this era-defining pandemic.


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