New award for free Russian journalists

Redcollegia Establishes Special Award For Courage and Loyalty to Profession

The jury board and council of Redcollegia Award have decided to establish a special prize to be awarded in unique cases: For Courage and Loyalty to the Profession. The award is going to require unanimous consent of the jury board, and rather than reward a particular piece of writing, it will acknowledge the work of a journalist as a whole. Each award in this category is going to be announced separately.  

The first award For Courage and Loyalty to the Profession goes to Antonina Favorskaya for her outstanding dignity, courage, and persistence in coverage of prosecution of Alexei Navalny.

Who is Antonina Favorskaya?

Antonina Favorskaya is a journalist and photographer of online media SOTAvision who covered every court hearing of Alexei Navalny. Antonina was the one who took Navalny’s last video at the hearing on February 15. She was amongst his family and friends at his funeral. Before that, in January, Antonina visited the town of Kharp, where Navalny was held at the Polar Wolf colony.

Last summer, Antonina Favorskaya was the only reporter who was present in court when activist Zarema Musayeva was sentenced to prison in Grozny. Despite the brutal attack on her colleagues Yelena Milashina and Alexander Nemov, Favosrkaya did not hesitate to leave her hotel and go do her job in court, then publish the photo and video materials featuring the court enforcement officers’ faces.

“Fear only makes your life worse. If you are already doing what you’re doing, you have to be aware of it. Either you don’t do it at all and go play bunnies in kids’ theater plays. Or you go all the way,” Antonina wrote in a column for MSK1 online media.

After Navalny’s funeral, Favorskaya stopped going to courts, however she kept publishing fresh photographs from the cemetery. The family asked her to arrange for the memorialservices that were held at the grave several times. On her Facebook page, Favorskaya published a long post enumerating the tortures that Navalny had had to endure during his imprisonment, illustrated with her photos from courts and penal colonies. She clearly articulated her suspicions that Navalny had been murdered. This publication was widely shared by Facebook users.

Favorskaya was said to spend so much time at the cemetery that the local cat started recognizing her and would jump up on her shoulders.

On March 17, after a photoshoot, Antonina Favorskaya went to a cafe not far from the cemetery with her friends, where she was aggressively detained by the law enforcement. The next day, a court order had her arrested for ten days for allegedly having resisted the police. After two searches and a long interrogation, on March 28 Favorskaya faced new criminal charges for allegedly participating in an extremist organization.

Novaya Gazeta on Antonina Favorskaya. Photo Eugeny Kurakin


April 5, 2024

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