Fetisov Journalism Awards 2021

Category: Outstanding Investigative Reporting

Third Prize

Authors: Zecharias Zelalem (Ethiopia/ Canada), Will Brown (UK/ Kenya)

Investigation: African Migrants 'Left to Die' in Saudi Arabia’s Hellish Covid Detention Centres

Zecharias Zelalem is an Ethiopian freelance journalist with a focus on the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia in particular. He has reported extensively on the region’s current affairs, migration, as well as the ongoing Ethiopian civil war. Zecharias wrote for the Addis Ababa based Addis Standard magazine before freelancing for international media outlets, including the likes of The Telegraph, Al Jazeera and The Globe and Mail among others. 

Will Brown is a correspondent for The Telegraph reporting across Africa and a Senior Associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. Will was born and brought up in South London. Before joining The Telegraph in 2019, Will was the West Africa Correspondent for The Economist based in Dakar and a freelance journalist in New Delhi. He has reported in 26 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe and has been published in, appeared on, or cited by more than 40 major news outlets.

Investigation: African migrants 'left to die' in Saudi Arabia’s hellish Covid detention centres 

The Daily Telegraph - August 30, 2020

The original publication is available via the following link: 


'The guards just throw the bodies out back as if it was trash,' said one

Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, is keeping hundreds if not thousands of African migrants locked in heinous conditions reminiscent of Libya’s slave camps as part of a drive to stop the spread of Covid-19, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found. 

Graphic mobile phone images sent to the newspaper by migrants held inside the detention centres show dozens of emaciated men crippled by the Arabian heat lying shirtless in tightly packed rows in small rooms with barred windows. 

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