The photographer was hired to take pictures of corpses of Syrian soldiers and political opponents who died due to torture, diseases, malnutrition or excecutions. Shocked by what he saw, he managed, with the help of supporters, to smuggle 28.000 pictures out of Syria and published them in the internet in January 2014. The world was shocked about the proof of the brutality of the Assad regime but it hasn't been possible to charge Syria at the International Court of Justice, because of the veto of Russia and China at the United Nations Security Council.
In order to protect him and his family, the photographer's face and place of residence remain secret. The award winner is only known under the code name "Caesar". The French journalist Garance Le Caisne, who interviewed "Caesar" and published a book about him, accepted the award on his behalf at the award ceremony at the Opera House of Nuremberg on the 24th of September 2017.
History of the International Nuremberg Human Rights Award and special program
Since the year 1995 the International Nuremberg Human Rights Award has been the answer to the dark history of the city and the involvement in the crimes against the human rights during World War II. Inspired by the construction of The Way of Human Rights, the city took the decision to make a contribution to the respect of the human rights by establishing an international award.
Today Nuremberg vouches for human rights, peace, reconciliation and respect. After the award ceremony the citizens of Nuremberg come together to meet for the Nuremberg Peace Banquet in order to raise awareness and funds.
Hollywood actress and Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave opened this year the Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival at the 27th of September. Until the 4th of October, visitors had the choice between different movies and documentaries from Turkey, Chile and Myanmar.