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Human Rights Watch Wins 3 Webby Awards

Projects Spotlight Crises in Congo and Colombia

(New York) - Human Rights Watch has won three prestigious Webby Awards for its video and multimedia work, drawing attention to human rights crises in Colombia and Congo.

The winning projects tell the stories of brave human rights defenders and survivors of abuses in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were produced by Human Rights Watch in collaboration with leading photojournalists and media organizations, including the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

"We use photographs, video, and sound to tell powerful stories about the people hurt by human rights abuses," said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations at Human Rights Watch. "We're thrilled about the Webby awards because they will bring Human Rights Watch's work to a new audience. We hope they will inspire people to take action against injustice around the world."

Dear Obama: A Message from the Victims of the Lord's Resistance Army won both a Webby Award and a People's Voice Award in the News & Politics: Individual Episode category. The project is a direct appeal from children and adults who survived attacks by the brutal Lord's Resistance Army rebel group in Congo and neighboring countries. The video was produced with the photographer Marcus Bleasdale and the Pulitzer Center.

Deadly Threats: Successors to the Paramilitaries in Colombia won a People's Voice Award in the Documentary Series category. Photojournalist Stephen Ferry worked with Human Rights Watch to create this multimedia feature, using photographs and sound to document the strength and survival of ordinary people who stand up to armed groups that attack and kill civilians.

Human Rights Watch also received Webby Honoree distinctions for Exiled: Burma's Defenders, a collaboration between Human Rights Watch and The New Yorker, and for Liu Xiaobo: Nobel Peace Laureate.

The 15th Annual Webby Awards received more than 10,000 entries from more than 60 countries. Human Rights Watch competed against some of the world's best and biggest news organizations, including The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian

"We amplify the voices of victims so their messages reach those in power who can actually end human rights abuses," Bogert said."

Winners will be honored at a ceremony in New York on June 13, 2011, where they will have an opportunity to deliver one of the Webby's famous five-word speeches. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 650-member judging academy whose members include the internet co-inventor Vinton Cerf, R/GA's chief Bob Greenberg, "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, Arianna Huffington, and Harvey Weinstein.

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