Dawa Khan Meenapal, 2010 winner
Dawa Khan Meenapal is Radio Free Afghanistan’s correspondent in Kandahar, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Meenapal, has shown tremendous bravery working under constant pressure both from the militants and government security forces, and his objective reporting has earned him respect from across the political spectrum.
In November 2008, Meenapal was kidnapped on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. Three days later he was released after tribal leaders in the area, who consider him to be a balanced and objective reporter, protested his detention and persuaded the Taliban to release him. In August 2009, Meenapal was severely beaten by Afghan police while covering the largest-ever explosion in Kandahar, which killed over 100 civilians. Despite paying such a huge price for doing his job, Meenapal continues his excellent work and is one of the Afghan Service’s most productive reporters.