Al Jazeera's Sami al-Haj has received a special award from the Association of International Broadcasters.
The award was presented at the fourth Annual AIB Media Excellence Awards ceremony held on Wednesday.
It was given in recognition of his work and the courage he showed while he was held at the US-run Guantanamo military prison.
Al-Haj was recently released from Guantanamo Bay after six-and-a-half years of detention.
Al-Haj, who now heads the recently launched Al Jazeera Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk, thanked AIB for the honour.
“While I could not attend the awards in person I am grateful to the AIB for my award,” he said.
“My journey at Guantanamo was an extremely difficult one and I am thankful for all the support I have received from institutions, organisations, and individuals across the world. This award is certainly appreciated.”
Wadah Khanfar, director general of the Al Jazeera Network, had high praise for al-Haj.
“Ground-breaking journalism many times comes at a heavy human cost. Our colleague al-Haj is an example of someone who has endured this hardship and we are very pleased that the AIB has recognised him by this award,” Khanfar said.
“As someone who has experienced these hardships first-hand, al-Haj will lead efforts to provide a platform to foster a dialogue on the media’s role in advancing human rights via his new post as the head of Al Jazeera’s Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk,” he added.
Al Jazeera English also was “highly commended” in two categories. Its reporting on the Myanmar cyclone was commended for the “clearest coverage of a single news event”. The channel’s Melanie Woelzemueller and Bushra Johnson were recognised in the ‘most innovative use of graphics’ category for their creative work in coverage of the Iran nuclear issue.
Follow us on our social media channels: