Arash Sigarchi, a journalist for Voice of America’s Persian Service, has won top prize at the 2012 Deutsche Welle International Blog Awards – known as the BOBs.
Sigarchi’s personal blog, Window of Anguish, was selected by a panel of media experts who considered entries in 11 languages. The award honors blogs that champion the open exchange of ideas and freedom of expression. The prize was announced Wednesday.
Born in Iran, Sigarchi started blogging in 2002, but was arrested two years later for criticizing the regime. After serving 2 years of a 3 year prison sentence, surviving lung cancer, and losing his brother to a car accident, he was granted a visa to travel United States and left Iran in 2008.
The Deutsche Welle Blog Awards website says “Window of Anguish provides readers with an even-handed perspective of the Iranian regime’s actions.” One member of the selection panel said, “Arash has maintained an objective view of events despite the personal attacks and tragedy he suffered at the hands of the government.”
Sigarchi currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he works for the VOA Persian Service.
Arash Abadpour, a BOBs Persian-language jury member, said Sigarchi, “represents an important source of information for readers inside and outside of Iran. State influence on traditional media is getting stronger and stronger,” Abadpour said. “Arash is a blogger who found his way in mainstream media and still keeps his connection to Iran.”