AFP awarded at Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents Prize
The 25th Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents Prize event singled out two AFP photojournalists. Mahmud Hams received the first prize in the Photo category while Juan Barreto is awarded with the third prize.
“Mahmud Hams has been singled out for his work on the protest movement known as the “Great March of Return” since March 2018 involving thousands of Palestinians along the frontier. Most Palestinians keep away from the barrier which is heavily guarded by Israeli soldiers. However, some groups ignore the danger and move in to throw stones and incendiary devices at soldiers and to try to force the barbed wire line rolled out by Israel in front of the barrier. Israeli soldiers reply using anti-riot equipment or fire live rounds at demonstrators.
Mahmud Hams, 38, is a graduate in journalism and information from the Islamic University of Gaza. He joined AFP in 2003 and covers daily news in the Gaza strip as well as occasional reports in Libya and Egypt. Mahmud Hams has won many international prizes. He had already won in Bayeux in 2007 for a picture of young Palestinians running away from Israeli army fire.
“This award comes at a difficult time for media work. I always feel the danger when I do my work, even more than during the previous conflicts in the Gaza Strip because the violence now targets journalists directly,” Mahmud Hams said.
Juan Barreto was hailed for his coverage of the conflict in Venezuela while the country has been plunged for months in a grave economic and political crisis.
Juan Barreto is a Venezuelan photographer. He joined the agency in 1999 and covered regional news: political crises, presidential elections, the earthquake in Haiti, along with sporting events. Juan Barreto is based in the Caracas bureau and covers the crisis in Venezuela daily.
His work on demonstrations against the Venezuelan government earned the third prize in the “Spot Stories” category at the 2018 World Press Photo event along with the first prize in the “News Picture Story” category and the third prize in the “Spot News” category at the 2017 Atlanta Photojournalism Awards.
AFP’s global news director Michèle Léridon spoke of her pride and expressed "her gratitude for the two photographers who, from Caracas to Gaza, portray the reality of their countries with courage, talent and professionalism, in conditions that are unfortunately too often dangerous.”