Tbilisi, 3 February 2023 – Today, the Acting Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, Dr. Tibor Kozma, awarded the EUMM Special Prize for Peace Journalism to Ms. Lela Kunchulia from Radio Liberty for her short documentary film “A prayer for the murderer of my son.” The film tells an emotional story of an 84-year-old woman who often comes to a church to Kaspi to pray for a man who killed her son in 1993 during the conflict in Abkhazia.
The EUMM Peace Prize will give Ms. Kunchulia the opportunity to participate in a one-month fellowship at the Headquarters of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in London.
Words can heal
“When used irresponsibly or deliberately as a weapon, words can be as damaging as bullets. In fact, words can incite hatred and kill. The increased spread of hate speech, disinformation, and false narratives over the last year have reminded us of this,” said Dr. Tibor Kozma, the Acting Head of EUMM, in his speech, referring to the ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“As Georgia knows from its recent past, highly professional and ethical journalism is also essential in a time after armed clashes have ended. When journalists tell stories that bridge divided communities, they can help bring people together again, step by step. Because words also have the power to heal wounds. That is why I am very proud today to award the EUMM Special Prize for Peace Journalism and celebrate together with you the professional achievements of journalists in Georgia,” added Dr. Kozma at the award ceremony.
The Acting Head of EUMM also underlined that EUMM had awarded the Prize for the 10th consecutive year, which showed the importance that EUMM attached to this professional recognition.
In addition to the EUMM Special Prize winner, the following journalists received an honourable mention for their outstanding journalistic works:
- Mr. Levan Uridia (Adjara Television and Radio of the Public Broadcaster) for his article “Language as Main Means for Conflict Resolution”
- Ms. Nino Samadashvili (Energynews) for her article “Enguri Hydro Power Plant: Bridge to Abkhazia”
10th edition of EUMM Special Prize for Peace Journalism
The EUMM Special Prize for Peace Journalism is one of eight categories of the EU Prize for Journalism in Georgia, organised by the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia. Introduced in 2013, this is the tenth consecutive year of the award. The prize rewards ethical, independent and conflict-sensitive journalism that contributes to confidence-building and peace among communities, which is one of the priorities of the Mission.
List of previous winners:
- 2013 Olesya Vartanyan
- 2014 Gogita Aptsiauri
- 2015 Nino Chipchiuri
- 2016 Gvantsa Doluashvili
- 2017 Nino Gogua
- 2018 Nika Gablishvili
- 2019 Mamuka Kuparadze
- 2020 Ketevan Magradze
- 2021 Zviad Mchedlishvili
The EUMM-sponsored prize is organised in partnership with Institute for War and Peace Reporting.