2nd Forum 2000 International Award for Courage and Responsibility (2022)

About the Award

With the vision of recognizing extraordinary civic courage and actions that prioritize responsibility to the wider community, defense of democracy, and promotion of human rights and civil liberties over self-interest, the Forum 2000 Foundation established the International Award for Courage and Responsibility in 2021. The Award is given to citizens, or institutions selected in a three-stage process, involving the opinions of a rich variety of significant personalities of the Forum 2000 community.

About Zhang Zhan

The Chinese citizen journalist and former lawyer Zhang Zhan has won the second Forum 2000 International Award for Courage and Responsibility. Shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020, Zhang Zhan travelled to Wuhan, in order to report on the impact of the lockdown measures imposed on the city. Through her coverage, she questioned the handling of the crisis by the authorities. For that she was detained later in May 2020, tortured, and sentenced to four years imprisonment on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Zhang Zhan was later hospitalized due to malnutrition. Despite strong wave of protest and condemnation among the international community, Zhang Zhan remains imprisoned till this day.

Zhang Zhan´s determination and courage in defending the freedom of speech and other civil liberties are exceptional. Her actions serve as a source of inspiration for not only fellow human rights activists, but as well as for us all. Zhang Zhang´s decision to prioritize her responsibility towards the wider community has earned her deep respect, recognition and admiration all around the world.

Due to Zhang Zhan´s lasting imprisonment, Xiao Qiang, Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times and Research Fellow at the School of Information received the award on her behalf.

Selection of photographs from the 2nd Forum 2000 International Award for Courage and Responsibility Ceremony