GUE/NGL awards its Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information prize

Former US army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning, German investigative organisation Correctiv and Greece’s Novartis have been jointly awarded the prize.
Daphne Caruana Galizia

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

15 Oct 2020

Named in honour of the murdered Maltese investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, the three award-winners were recognised for their work in what GUE/NGL, the left-leaning group in Parliament, calls “exposing the truth and for their courage in risking their careers and personal freedom.”

This year’s ceremony on Wednesday took place two days before the third anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s assassination. Her killers remain at large and the murder unresolved.

In 2019, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Nestlé whistleblower Yasmine Motarjemi and Football Leaks’ Rui Pinto jointly won the award.

Manning is the whistleblower and former US Army intelligence analyst who passed on classified information and war logs to the international press, exposing alleged human rights violations.

Correctiv, meanwhile, are a group of investigators who helped expose, amongst others, the ‘cum-ex’ scandal which is estimated to have cost EU taxpayers at least €55 billion.

“These are the heroes of our time - whistleblowers and journalists who are fighting for the truth. This award, now in its third year, is firmly established as one of the key events at the European Parliament” Stelios Kouloglou, GUE/NGL

The third winner was Greece’s Novartis whistleblowers whose lives are said to still be in danger after exposing alleged high-level corruption by the pharmaceutical giant and senior members of the Greek government during the late 2000s/early 2010s.

Also nominated were Eileen Chubb, a British care home worker who exposed widespread elderly abuse at BUPA facilities; Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept and one of the main forces behind the Edward Snowden leaks, and Omar Rojas Bolaños, a former Colombian national police colonel currently in exile after exposing the extrajudicial killings of thousands of men and women at the hands of the country’s police forces, army and government.

Commenting on the 2020 award, Greek GUE/NGL deputy Stelios Kouloglou said, “These are the heroes of our time - whistleblowers and journalists who are fighting for the truth. This award, now in its third year, is firmly established as one of the key events at the European Parliament.”

Further comment came from Portuguese GUE/NGL deputy Marisa Matias, who added, “Rights and freedom have been massively eroded during the current pandemic.”

“This award is our group’s humble contribution to honour those who are brave enough to put in practice the pillars of democracy, such as the right to information and the freedom of the press.”

“Those who have been honoured this year are exemplary of this fight,” she added.

“Rights and freedom have been massively eroded during the current pandemic. This award is our group’s humble contribution to honour those who are brave enough to put in practice the pillars of democracy, such as the right to information and the freedom of the press” Marisa Matias, GUE/NGL

Her Spanish group colleague Miguel Urbán said the three winners were all “very worthy recipients”, adding, “With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Novartis case has shown how detrimental the privatisation of healthcare is, and why we must defend universal and public health systems.”

“In doing so, the collaboration of the media and journalists in exposing the big pharma’s shady businesses is essential. The same applies to what Correctiv has carried out and its work underlines how essential it is for journalists and the media to support each other and for cross-border collaboration.”

“Correctiv’s work helped expose well-established, international coordination between large European banks, insurance companies and investment funds. We need this kind of investigative work, and such international collaboration on exposing the truth is vital.”

He added, “Chelsea Manning has had to endure time in prison for defending the right to information – with terrible consequences for her personal life. She was a key player in leaking thousands of secret US documents in 2010.”

“Like journalists, whistleblowers like Manning should be protected from retaliation, and not be persecuted for defending public interest.”

Categories

Justice
Share this page