The 2020 Albert-London Prize awarded to “Le Monde” journalist Allan Kaval for his reports in Syria

Allan Kaval, in Kobane, Syria, in 2017.

The jury of the Albert-Londres Prize awarded, on Saturday 5 December, in Paris, its 82e distinction in the written press category to the journalist of World Allan Kaval, 31, for his work at the heart of“Syrian hell”.

“Death has a smell. Despair too; its scent mingles with that of disease, dysentery, human flesh that life, little by little, abandons. “ From the first lines of this report published on October 31, 2019, “In north-eastern Syria, the slow death of jihadist prisoners”, the words of Allan Kaval magnetize the reader to lead him into a dark recession of the bowels of the world, located on the edge of northeastern Syria and inhumanity. A black place like the Daesh flag, which flew over the lives of the ethical, sick, wounded prisoners whom the journalist had met and whom no one wants: the ultimate fighters, of all ages and nationalities, of the organization Islamic State (IS).

The three reports of Allan Kaval rewarded

“Precise, modest … [Ses] portraits imbued with humanity are combined with a relevant analysis that helps understanding ”, estimated the jury of the Albert-Londres Prize, chaired by the former great reporter Hervé Brusini. The text with Dantesque accents was accompanied by photographs by Laurence Geai, orange and gray snapshots of this prison hell; the two reporters were accompanied on the field by their fixer, Aref Mohammed.

” Overjoyed “

The award, perhaps the most prestigious in the business, was presented to its recipient by interposed screen. Congratulations and hugs will still wait: seriously injured in the bombings of the small town of Martouni in early October, in Nagorno-Karabakh, with photographer Rafael Yaghobzadeh, Allan Kaval is still hospitalized. “There is still a lot of work before I can go out, but things are taking their course”, soberly declares the latter, ” overjoyed “ to receive this award.

From the Parisian hospital where he sees the newspaper building, he knows that nothing has really changed on the scene of his report. “There have been attempts at mutiny, but no judicial response is yet envisaged for this prison left to the surveillance of Kurdish forces by the international coalition, and which is a dangerous oblivion., he emphasizes. This center is a gray area where the law does not prevail and where, ultimately, IS has succeeded in imposing its world. “

Read also The two journalists from “Le Monde” injured in Nagorno-Karabakh being evacuated to Yerevan then Paris

This prize is in addition to the Bayeux prize for war correspondents that Allan Kaval received in October, as well as the Ouest-France Jean-Marin prize. He shares the honor with, in the audiovisual category, Capa France reporters Sylvain Louvet and Ludovic Gaillard, authors of the documentary broadcast by Arte All watched, 7 billion suspects, which alerts to the disturbing intrusion of surveillance technologies into our lives. In the category devoted to books, the Russian-speaking Cédric Gras was awarded the jury for his book. Stalin climbers (Stock, 342 pages, 20.50 euros), devoted to the journey of the Abalakov brothers, Siberian mountaineers victims of Stalinist terror.

Read also “Le Monde” awarded at the Bayeux Prize for war correspondents


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