Assignment/Crossing Continents: Uzbekistan
BBC Radio 4/ BBC World Service
This powerful investigation by Natalia Antelava looks at forced sterilisation in Uzbekistan, where women have become the new target of one of the most repressive regimes on earth. Working over many months, she established contacts within the country, ranging from human rights campaigners to doctors and ordinary women. What emerged was a very disturbing picture: rather than isolated incidents, there appeared to be a government programme to sterilise women directly after labour in hospital, without their knowledge or consent, in an effort to control the population.
Despite being deported from the country, Natalia recorded interviews on her mobile phone with people who had fled Uzbekistan to escape the regime and collected facts through phone and email from inside the country. The programme gained international attention and was picked up by news outlets around the world.
The jury said:
"The jury was unanimous in giving the Radio Award to this investigation into forced sterilisation in Uzbekistan. Natalia Antelava uncovered this shocking secret through brave first-person reporting and her journey of discovery was compelling and well-crafted. The result was unquestionable proof of what had been a rumour for years, leading to an international furor at the highest level – a rare impact for a radio documentary."
The jury panel:
- CHAIR: Hugh Purcell, Head of Studies, ESoDoc
- Nikki Bedi, Broadcaster, BBC World Service
- Nicky Birch, Head of Radio Development, Somethin Else
Click here to download a copy of the jury's citation (pdf)
Reporter Natalia Antelava and Producer Wesley Stephenson