Colombian journalist Hollman Morris honored with International Nuremberg Human Rights Award

Colombian journalist Hollman Morris, who started the investigative television program Contravia in 2003, was awarded the International Nuremberg Human Rights Award on Sunday, Sept. 25, in Nuremberg, Germany, according to Deutche Welle.

Morris, who also is a Nieman fellow, was given the prize for his efforts with Contravia. According to the Nuremberg jury, Morris has provided “visibility to the victims of the terrible armed conflict in his native Colombia and gives them a voice on his television show Contravia.”

The award recognizes individuals who work toward human rights, even at personal risk. Because of his work with Contravia, Morris has been the target of paramilitary threats. Since 2002, eight reporters have died in Colombia because of their work, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"You are the Colombian voice of freedom. You are a role model for a humane and just world," said Horst Seehofer, the premier of the German state of Bavaria in honoring Morris with the $20,000 prize, according to Monsters and Critics.

During his acceptance speech, Morris said it “is the job of journalism to make the voice of the weak and poor louder…This award is not for my passivity; on the contrary, it is due to my work towards peace in Colombia; for the freedom of expression and for human rights; so that there may be more citizens who can express different points of view. We believe that well-informed citizens will be more independent and free. We believe in peace and freedom of expression as fundamental rights of the men and women of the world.”

Earlier this year, Morris turned to the citizens of Colombia and abroad to turn Contravia into the first viewer-funded television show in Latin America. For Morris, this award has become a reflection of the human rights efforts of Latin America as a whole.

The Nuremberg Human Rights Award has been given since 1995, and is given biennially to those who defend and encourage human rights. Morris is the second Latin American to be awarded the prize.

See a video of the awards ceremony below: