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Rory Peck Trust @rorypecktrust
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The fifth and final freelancer in this week’s #WorldPressFreedomDay series is journalist & photographer Sally Hayden from Ireland, who currently focuses on migration, conflict and humanitarian crises. Here she is photographed [left] while reporting in Burkina Faso in 2014
The photo above was taken by Matus Krcmarik. Across the day we'll be sharing pictures & insights from Sally that give glimpses of her experiences as a #freelancer working internationally. Follow this thread!
"I took this in eastern #Sudan, close to the border with Eritrea, where I met teenagers & children who had fled compulsory, indefinite military service,” Sally said. “This was one of the few times I brought a fixer, as it's impossible to travel alone as a foreign woman in Sudan.”
Sally added: “I wasn't even allowed to book a hotel for myself in the east, and had to get travel permits, photo permits, and was closely supervised by various government security agencies. These children were so young and it was heartbreaking to know what they've been through.”
The freelancer began her in-depth reporting on migration after going to Calais in 2015, while still with @vicenews. “I took this picture there on one particularly horrible day around 6 months later. A group of Iranian men sewed their lips together in protest at their treatment.”
“I don't know what happened to them but I've stayed in touch with many others I met in Calais. One Syrian, Ziad Ghandour, ended up collaborating with me on a project about reverse migration to Syria,” Sally added
“We're also both now involved with the @RefugeeJourno, which helps exiled #journalists restart their careers in the UK.”
Last year Sally visited regime-held Syria for 10 days. “As a freelancer one of the hardest things is not having people to speak about your stories with,” she said. “In Damascus I met a refugee who returned home from Germany only to be arrested, tortured + sent to the frontlines.”
Sally added: “That reporting was later a finalist for @amnesty & @onewm awards, and I was flown to Berlin to testify about it in a major legal challenge against the German government. I do all that, however, knowing my interviewee remains in huge danger.”
In 2017, Sally reported for the second time in northeast Nigeria [below]. “Over the past year or so, I’m incredibly grateful to have had support from organisations like @RoryPeckTrust and @FFRegister when it comes to help with security plans and risk assessments,” she said.
“There were a lot of suicide bombings while I was there – I'll never forget the night of Eid celebrations, hearing explosions and gunfire coming from different directions but not knowing who had been hurt. The next day, I found out the cook in the hotel I ate in had been killed.”
“In this photo [above], you can see the drawings left by Boko Haram on the walls in Gwoza, the headquarter of their caliphate from 2014-15.”
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