RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service
correspondent Saadet Akifqizi was awarded first prize in the "Transparency and Accountability of Public Spending" category of the Open Society Institute's Assistance Institution's investigative journalism competition in Azerbaijan. Saadet's winning submission was a special report on public spending, which revealed serious mismanagement and corruption problems in Azerbaijan's public schools.
The competition was the first major investigative journalism competition in Azerbaijan, and was organized by the Soros Foundation
. The awards ceremony was held on May 5 in Baku, and the award winners will all travel to the U.S. for further training in investigative journalism.
In addition, Abudkayum Kayumov, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service correspondent in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, received the "Award for Journalistic Courage" -- one of the most prestigious awards given to journalists in Tajikistan. Kaymov covers politics and social issues in Tajikistan for the Azerbaijani Service, and was commended for his attention to detail and strong analytical skills. The contest was organized by several international NGOs in cooperation with the U.S. embassy in Tajikistan
, and the ceremony was held on May 5.