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Globe writer wins Amnesty media award for coverage of Rohingya refugees

Since Aug. 25, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar. I

NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The Globe and Mail's Asia correspondent, Nathan VanderKlippe, has won an Amnesty International Canada media award for his coverage of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.

Mr. VanderKlippe's September reporting from Myanmar's border with Bangladesh provided an on-the-ground account of what the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

In Bangladesh, Mr. VanderKlippe interviewed individuals from Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority to understand why they were fleeing heavily Buddhist Myanmar.

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"As tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar, fleeing the early days of a brutal, scorched-earth campaign of ethnic cleansing, burning of villages and indiscriminate killing, VanderKlippe was amongst the first Canadian journalists to visit the border points and share the tragic stories of people running for their lives," Amnesty International Canada said in its announcement of the media award in the national print category.

"It is a gutsy piece of work, layered with interviews gathered in dangerous circumstances and working in a second language, enhanced with poignant photos taken by the author. Alarmingly, he notes a diplomatic solution involving global pressure on the Myanmar authorities might have been possible, but adds, the time for attempting it is ever more narrow."

Globe and Mail editor-in-chief David Walmsley welcomed the recognition of Mr. VanderKlippe's journalism.

"We are proud of Nathan's work as he continues a long line of tradition bringing the most important stories to our audience. He cannot unlearn the terror that he witnessed, but by sharing that burden with the world perhaps the violence will also not be forgotten," Mr. Walmsley said.

The CBC's Margaret Evans, Stephanie Jenzer and Richard Devey won the Amnesty International Canada award in the broadcast category for their coverage of the refugee crisis in South Sudan. The Vancouver Sun's Denise Ryan won in the category of regional news, alternative and magazine for her reporting on living conditions in single room occupancy hotels in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Finally, Sally Armstrong and Peter Bragg won Amnesty's award for online journalism, in recognition of the United Church Observer's coverage of the persecution faced by Iraq's minority Yazidi population by the Islamic State.

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