MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Chinese investigative journalist whose work has led to the ouster of corrupt officials and a Chinese environmental lawyer are among this year's six recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, often regarded as Asia's version of the Nobel Prize.
Hu Shuli was recognized as editor-in-chief of the Beijing-based, multi-platform Ciaxin Media Group that has exposed corporate fraud and government corruption, including the sale-for-adoption of children who were seized by family planning officials in Hunan province, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in the Philippines announced Thursday.
Hu's "unrelenting commitment to truthful, relevant and unassailable journalism" has defied China's restrictive media environment, the foundation said.
Wang Canfa is the other Chinese awards recipient. He founded the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, which has offered free legal services to thousands of people and provided environmental law training to lawyers and others.
Among other awardees were Indonesian anthropologist Saur Marlina Manurung, who put up a "Jungle School" program for children of Indonesia's Orang Rimba, or forest people; and Filipino teacher Randy Halasan, for serving the indigenous Matigsalug tribe.
Omara Khan Masoudi of Afghanistan was awarded for his courage in protecting Afghan cultural heritage. At great risk to his life, the deputy director of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul led his colleagues in moving some of the museum's most precious objects to safety during the Taliban's assault on his country's cultural treasures in the 1990s. After Taliban rule ended in 2002, he returned to the museum as director and resurrected the hidden collection and negotiated the return of other treasures smuggled to foreign countries.
The Citizen Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Pakistan founded by six business leaders, was recognized for building 1,000 schools over hundreds of cities and towns in the country with the world's second highest number of children who are out of school.
The awards are named after a popular Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash.