2016 Special Award Winner

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) – based in Syria

2016 Special Award Winner

Pictured above, from left: Clarissa Ward, CNN and Hussam Eesa, RBSS

RBSS is an underground network of Syrian citizen journalists with the stated aim of exposing “…the atrocities committed by terrorist extremist group ISIS”. Since the rise of ISIS to today, they have, at great personal risk, used their website and social media profiles to report what life is like for ordinary Syrians surviving under the brutal regime.

During this period, they have been one of the few reliable sources of information coming out of Raqqa. A core of 17 members, with the help of 70 volunteers, operate in the city and the surrounding areas, gathering information, pictures and video to show the reality millions have to endure. This is published to a global audience via their website and Twitter feeds on an almost daily basis. With no other media organisation able to report there, it’s been left to this small group of Syrians to become one, in order to get information out via their secret network.

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“RBSS is an extraordinary collection of individuals operating under the most testing conditions. Through their brave work they offer us a picture of what life is like for ordinary Syrians under the brutal Islamic State regime. With no other media organisation able to report from there, it’s been left to this small underground group to get information and video out via their secret networks. In the last year, two of their members have been killed.”

Judges March 3, 2017