A Pulitzer Center-supported film was honored at the Rory Peck Awards, which pay tribute to freelance journalists.
Grantee Brent E. Huffman won in the News Features category for his reporting on the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on Uyghur Muslims in a film for VICE News, Uyghurs Who Fled China Now Face Repression in Pakistan.
Huffman’s film followed Mohammed Umer, an Uyghur activist who operates an underground railroad in Pakistan that smuggles persecuted Muslims into other countries. His work is becoming more difficult as China invests billions of dollars into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a series of infrastructure projects that connect the two countries. For all the promises of CPEC to transform Pakistan’s economy, some groups see these developments as a threat and have mounted a violent campaign of resistance.
Huffman, the film's producer-director, traveled to Pakistan five times over a four-year period to gain the trust of a vulnerable community of Uyghurs hiding there. His film was praised by a judge as “solid journalism with a beating heart—the clearest telling of a complex story I have ever seen.”
Established in 1995, the Rory Peck Awards aim to give freelance journalists the recognition they deserve. View the complete list of this year’s winners here.