Defiant translator gets Amin award

A
sign language translator on Ukrainian state television channel UT1 was
awarded the Mohammed Amin Award for outstanding contribution to TV news.

Natalya
Dimitruk was assigned to translate the afternoon news in November 2004.
Instead of signing the official line that the government candidate
Vicktor Yanukovych had beaten rival Viktor Yuschenko, she signed:
“Yuschenko is our president. Do not believe the Central Election
Commission. They are lying.”

Other journalists on the state-run
channel followed her lead, saying they had had enough of telling the
government’s lies. This turnaround in coverage was instrumental in the
Orange Revolution, which brought thousands onto the streets of Kiev and
the appointment of Yuschenko as president.

Managing director of
Reuters TV, Tony Donovan, said: “This act of courage and integrity
represents everything that the Amin Awards stand for. A largely
unknown, relatively junior member of the TV news community was brave
enough to fight back against the lies.”

The award was established
in 1997 in honour of the legendary cameraman killed in an airline
hijacking a year earlier. It recognises outstanding contributions to TV
news made by individuals who do not have a high profile.

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