Laureate 2010: Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi

Photo: Media Foundation

Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi

is a young journalist from the north Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Since 2004, Ibrahimi is working for the London-based "Institute for War and Peace Reporting" in his home country. Until today, he has published more than 130 articles for the renowned organisation, which mostly deal with the abuse of power by local warlords and the Afghan elites.

War crimes, human rights violations and corruption are the main issues of his reports. "Yaqub works like an Anglo-Saxon journalist", says Tillmann Schmalzried, Afghanistan expert of the "Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker" ("Society for threatened People"), who is in regular contact with Ibrahimi. "He very rarely expresses his opinion, but interviews as many protagonists until the culprits are unmasking themselves within his articles".

As a result of his reports Ibrahimi received several death threats from warlords and Taleban. His brother, journalism student Parwiz K. Ibrahimi, was first sentenced to death by an Islamic court, which later reduced the death sentence to a 20 years prison sentence. Independent observers assessed this as a "surrogate process". Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi himself believes that the authorities want to blackmail his silence by holding his younger brother as a hostage.

The "Hamburger Stiftung für Politisch Verfolgte" ("Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted") invited Ibrahimi to stay one year in Germany in 2008. But after a few months Ibrahimi returned to his home country and kept on fighting for his brother and the enforcement of human rights from the underground. Meanwhile Ibrahimi lives in Canada.