Congratulations to Clare Sambrook, a frequent contributor to ICN, who was awarded the Paul Foot prize for journalism at BAFTA in London last night. For the competition, Clare submitted work that exposed: government attempts to bury medical evidence that detention harms children, and the cosy relationship between government and the security companies that run prisons and detention centres for profit.
Clare’s journalism is rooted in End Child Detention Now, a citizens' campaign to end the scandal of child detention by the UK immigration authorities — formed in July 2009 by six friends.
End Child Detention Now members working unpaid and unfunded. They persuaded 121 MPs to sign a parliamentary motion calling for the end of child detention; held vigils and demonstrations in London, York and Dagenham; support families in detention and on their release; addressed the Church of England Synod Public Affairs Council; collaborate with campaign groups including Shpresa, Refugee & Migrant Justice, SOAS Detainee Support, Women for Refugee Women, Yarl’s Wood Befrienders, Welsh Refugee Council, Positive Action in Housing; coordinated a series of public letters in the national press from church leaders, novelists, children’s writers, actors & directors; prompted questions in the Commons, the Lords and the Scottish Parliament and in six months raised nearly 5000 signatures on a national online petition.
Commenting on the rising ECDN campaign towards Christmas 2009, Dr Frank Arnold, clinical director of Medical Justice and an expert in torture scars said: ‘"Over many years numerous groups and individuals have attempted to combat the horrible practice of detaining children, families, torture survivors and others who have sought refuge in the UK from brutality in their homelands. The process and the justifications for detention have become ever more illogical and baroque. For the first time, we are beginning to see a truly powerful groundswell against it."
Clare worked as a Daily Telegraph financial reporter before going freelance to pursue investigations. She is co-author (with Andrew Jennings) of The Great Olympic Swindle, shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award (2000). Her debut novel Hide & Seek (2005), published in thirteen languages, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Clare lives in Cumbria where she is working on her second novel. Her journalism appears in Private Eye, openDemocracy and guardian.co.uk among other titles.
Clare said: "Reading Paul Foot’s books when I was fresh out of university gave me a strong sense of what journalism could and should be. This is a massive honour, hugely encouraging and a real boost to the End Child Detention Now campaign at a time when the government has reneged on its commitment to stop this inhumanity."
For information on ECDN see: http://www.ecdn.org
To see Clare's press campaign see: http://www.claresambrook.com/campaign-page/campaign-page.html