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Iraqi fixer Hassan Ashwor to receive Martin Adler Prize 2015

Iraqi fixer Hassan Ashwor to receive Martin Adler Prize 2015

Iraqi fixer, Hassan Ashwor, will receive the Martin Adler Prize at this year's Rory Peck Awards. The prize, sponsored by Hexagon, recognises the contribution that local freelance journalists make to international newsgathering.

Based in Dohuk, northern Iraq, Hassan has become the go-to fixer for journalists and human rights organisations visiting the region, especially those investigating atrocities perpetrated against the Yazidi community by Islamic State (IS). His knowledge, skills and contacts have supported independent reporting from the area and informed stories, reports and films published by Al Jazeera, CBS News, the New York Times, ZDF, amongst many others.

Filmmaker Edward Watts, who worked with Hassan on the 2015 Channel 4 documentary, Escape from ISIS, says Hassan kept him safe during very difficult conditions, close to the frontline with IS. “He was tireless, courageous, indefatigable. Those qualities allowed me – a foreigner – to gain access into the incredibly sensitive operations to rescue enslaved women and children from IS, operations so secret even most Iraqis did not know about them.”

Freelance journalist Carsten Stormer who has worked with Hassan on television reports for Al Jazeera America and print stories for Die Zeit, Datum and REPORTAGEN says, "He can make pretty much everything possible. He has great contacts and insights".

Remarkably, Hassan is a relative newcomer to journalism and was himself displaced by the IS attack on the Sinjar Mountain in 2014. Just three days after reaching safety with his family, he boarded a helicopter with a New York Times journalist to report on the siege. When not working with media teams, he uses his skills as a pharmacist to help NGOs who are assisting the tens of thousands of displaced people living in camps around his new home of Dohuk, north Iraq.

Hassan will receive the Martin Adler Prize at the Rory Peck Awards ceremony on Wednesday 18th November at London's BFI Southbank. The aim of the prize is to highlight the dedication and talent of freelancers who work under challenging and difficult circumstances within their own country, and who go largely un-recognised.

Book your tickets to the awards here.


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