AMMAN — Syria Direct’s Senior Editor Ammar Hamou and Reporter Alaa Nassar were awarded the 3rd Place Prize in the English Online category of the Migration Media Awards (MMA) 2019, held in Malta last Tuesday, for their investigation titled “Nowhere to run: Syrian refugees face Damascus’ security apparatus in the EU.”

Among 141 entries consisting of previously published pieces and proposals for future productions, 32 journalists from 12 countries were shortlisted in five different categories: print, radio, online, multimedia, and video. 

Syria Direct’s award-winning investigation was published in Arabic and English in October. It was developed with support from the OPEN Media Hub and the EUROMED Migration IV program, and with funding from the European Union.

The investigation explores how Syrian security services target Syrian refugees in Europe, and especially Germany, which hosts the largest number of refugees in Europe. Several interviews were conducted with refugees who were subject to harassment, either directly or indirectly, through their family members who still live in the government-held areas. The investigation included the remarks of Syrian human rights activists determined to hold human rights violators and war criminals accountable.

In addition to Hamou and Nassar’s investigation, Syrian director and journalist, Daham al-Asaad, was awarded 2nd Place in the “Video” category for his documentary about a Syrian refugee family in Denmark who is at risk of being deported to Damascus by the Danish authorities.

The MMA was launched in 2017 to recognize excellence, relevance and newswrthiness of journalism that contributes to balancing the narrative on migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region. 

It is a collaboration of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)-funded programs Euromed Migration IV implemented by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Open Media Hub led by the Thomson Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta and the European Asylum Support Office based in Malta and with the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB).