Salih Mohammed Salih, 2007 winner
One of Radio Free Afghanistan’s star reporters, Salih Mohammed Salih works in the Helmand province, which, as the center of Taliban and Al Qaeda activity in Afghanistan, is the most volatile region of the country. Reporters there constantly are subjected to death threats and at risk of kidnapping. During his nearly 12 months as a Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent, Salih has reported on the War on Terror, the campaign of poppy eradication, and the process of disarmament. Salih has rushed to scenes of battle, bombardment, and even a suicide bombing. On July 13, 2006, he was detained for hours by the governor of the Helmand province for reporting on civilian casualties caused by NATO bombardment; he was eventually released with the help of the British commander in the region. Since joining Radio Free Afghanistan, Salih has received numerous threats not only against himself but his family. A recent death threat from the Taliban forced him to relocate to the neighboring Kandahar province for a time—but he has returned to Helmand, where he continues to report on life in one of the most dangerous areas of the world.