Razan Zaitouneh Wins 2011 RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award

Razan Zaitouneh (Syria): Winner of the 2011 Anna Politkovskaya Award

The 2011 RAW in WAR (All Women in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award was awarded yesterday to Syrian human rights lawyer and journalist Razan Zaitouneh. Zaitouneh has gone into hiding following accusations by the government of being a foreign agent for her online reporting on the daily atrocities committed against civilians in Syria. She has conducted interviews with international media networks condemning the acts of the Assad regime – such as the torture and murder of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khateeb, a young boy who attended a protest against the regime with his father.

The government has imposed a strict ban on access for foreign journalists and human rights advocates to Syria. Zaitouneh’s information websiteShRIL – has become the main source of information abroad about the killings and torture of civilians by the army and police in Syria. She advocates for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be referred to the International Criminal Court since his ordered security crackdowns on protests throughout the country killed reportedly more than three thousand civilians.


“…what we share in humanity transcends languages, nationalities, and borders, just as tyranny and corruption share the same essence although they differ in details. …Each step forward towards peace and justice in any part of the world benefits all humanity.

I would like to remind the world that the Syrian people, who were victims to all those crimes yet still patient and persistent, are people who deserve much more than complicit silence, or timid criticism from those who have failed to refer this regime to the International Criminal Court despite acknowledging its crimes.” – Razan Zaitouneh.


To mark the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on 7th October 2006, and to honour Anna and other women like her in the world, RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) annually presents the Anna Politkovskaya Award to a woman human rights defender from a conflict zone in the world who, like Anna, stands up for the victims of this conflict, often at great personal risk. Previous award winners include Dr. Halima Bashir in 2010 (Darfur/ Sudan) and One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality in 2009 (Iran).

Watch the short film about Razan Zaitouneh and the background of this award.


Read Razan Zaitouneh’s thank-you letter personally addressed to Anna: “Syrians Want Freedom.”

Read the letter from the Committee of Supporters of the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award.


Join RAW in WAR in calling yet again for Anna’s and Natalia’s killers to be brought to justice and an end to the murders of journalists and human rights defenders, working in areas of war and conflict.

Follow Razan Zaitouneh on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/razanz

Stay informed on the human rights violations in Syria through Razan Zaitouneh’s reporting on Shril – Syrian Human Rights Information Link.


Download the 2011 RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award Lealflet in PDF.

Read the letter from the Committee of Supporters of the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award.

Read Razan Zaitouneh’s thank-you letter personally addressed to Anna: “Syrians Want Freedom.”


Razan Zaitouneh: Syrians Want Freedom,” Huffington Post, 7 October 2011.

Syrian Activist Honored In Anna Politkovskaya’s Name on Eve of Murder Anniversary,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 6 October 2011.

“Anna Politkovskaja Award 2011 for Razan Zeitouneh,” The Damascus Bureau, 6 October 2011.

Russia: New report shows journalists and activists being murdered for their work,” Amnesty International, 7 October 2011.

Call for more effort, more vigilance, five years after Politkovskaya murder,” Reporters Without Borders, 6 October 2011.

One Revolution is Not Enough,” The Damascus Bureau, 22 September 2011.