RAW in WAR honours Nobel Laureate in Literature, Belarusian writer, Svetlana Alexievich at Anna Politkovskaya Award ceremony in London

Nobel laureate, Belarusian writer, Svetlana Alexievich, receives the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award 2018, from Elena Kudimova, sister of Politkovskaya, and Mariana Katzarova, Founder of RAW in WAR, at an award ceremony in London on Saturday, 5 October 2019 at LSO St Luke's. Alexievich received the award for bravely speaking out about injustices in the post-Soviet space and giving voice to those trapped in conflict, past and present. The award in memory of journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was murdered in Moscow in 2006 is presented annually by RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) to a woman human rights defender, working in war and conflict zones. Photograph : Luke MacGregor for RAW in WAR

On Saturday 5 October RAW in WAR celebrated the courage of the joint-winners of the 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award Svetlana Alexievich (2015 Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature from Belarus) and Binalakshmi Nepram (a writer and women’s rights activist from Manipur in India) during a special event at LSO St. Luke’s (Barbican) in London. 

RAW in WAR honoured Binalakshmi Nepram and Svetlana Alexievich with the 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award for their bravery in speaking out and in defying injustice, violence and extremism in the context of ‘forgotten’ armed conflict in their regions, for which they have suffered death threats and as a result of which Binalakshmi had to go into exile to save her life.

At the 5 October event, RAW in WAR also announced the first participant in “Joy’s Brigade”, a leadership programme for young refugees in the UK, coming from war and conflict zones, and interested in human rights. The brigade will be set up in memory of Joy Watkins, a very strong supporter and colleague of all at RAW in WAR, who died in 2018. The first participant is Lejla Damon, a young woman, born during the war in Bosnia, as a result of her Bosnian Muslim mother being gang-raped by Serbian soldiers and then adopted by British war correspondents, Dan Damon of the BBC and camerawoman, Sian Damon.