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AP wins 2 Overseas Press Club awards

, by Patrick Maks

Reporting on the harrowing perils faced by migrants around the world and bloody protests in Haiti has earned AP journalists two prestigious awards from the Overseas Press Club of America.

OPC announced the awards on Thursday. 

AP staffers earned the Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper, news service or digital reporting from abroad for their comprehensive reporting on the barring and redirection of migrants across the globe. AP has won the Hal Boyle prize four of the last five years.

Often putting themselves at great personal risk, AP journalists from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the U.S. documented the systematic rape and torture of asylum seekers passing through Yemen, exposed how money sent from the European Union into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean instead spawned a thriving web of businesses capitalizing on their misery, and chronicled life in limbo for tens of thousands of migrants hoping to gain asylum in the U.S. The work was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Ethiopian migrants disembark from a boat onto the shores of Ras al-Ara, Lahj, Yemen, July 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

The journalism sparked widespread action and outrage from the international community: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees vowed to change how it contracts for a U.N.-operated migrant shelter, while Stanford and San Diego universities used AP reporting to recruit volunteer medical personnel to send to clinics across the U.S.-Mexico border.

The judges said: "We met characters in Yemen, Libya and Mexico that we will not soon forget. The team of reporters impressed us with their access and effort focused on haunting personal details while never losing sight of the big picture."

AP photographer Dieu-Nalio Chery won the prestigious Robert Capa Award for best photography requiring exceptional courage, for documenting violent demonstrations in Haiti over fuel shortages, rising inflation and allegations of government corruption.

Demonstrators run away from police shooting in their direction as a car burns during a protest demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Dieu-Nalio Chery)​

His gripping images include barricades engulfed in flames, overturned cars in the streets of Port-au-Prince and a group of protesters dragging the lifeless body of a fellow demonstrator toward police.

Chery was wounded on assignment last September when a senator fired a pistol during a confrontation with opposition protesters outside of Haiti’s Senate.

The judges said: “His images were raw, precise and engrossing, leaving viewers with a strong emotional sense of what it was like to be on the ground. Chery’s brave work highlights the unique dangers some local journalists face and overcome to cover the stories important to their communities and to the world.”

AP also earned two OPC citations.

Cairo-based photographer Nariman El-Mofty earned a Robert Capa Award citation for photographs illustrating the challenges facing Ethiopian migrants passing through Yemen as part of a 900-mile journey from the Horn of Africa to Saudi Arabia.

Buenos Aires-based photographer Natacha Pisarenko earned an Olivier Rebbot Award citation for best photographic news reporting from abroad in any medium for her images documenting political unrest in Bolivia.

A full list of winners is available here.

See a selection of the winning photos in the slideshow below: