Winner of prestigious World Press Photo award disqualified

World Press Photo 2015
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Winner of prestigious World Press Photo award disqualified

Contemporary Issues
3rd Prize, stories


16 December 2013

Students in a schoolyard in El Dorado County, California.

Several thousand people have been killed by covert U.S. drone strikes since 2004. The photographer bought his own drone, mounted a camera and traveled across the United States looking for situations similar to those mentioned in strike reports from Pakistan and Yemen, including weddings, funerals, and groups of people praying or exercising. He also flew his camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Photo Credit: Tomas van Houtryve

Daily Life
2nd Prize, stories


19 May 2014

Dhaka, Bangladesh

John wears his grandson’s bowler hat.

It was in the afternoon. I was sitting on my grandpa’s couch. The door was slightly open, and I saw light coming through, washed out between the white door and white walls. All of a sudden it all started making sense. I could relate what I was seeing with what I felt. John and Prova, my grandparents. Growing up, I found much love and care from them. They were young and strong.

As time went by, it shaped everything in its own way. Bodies took different forms and relations went distant. Grandma’s hair turned gray, the walls started peeling off and the objects were all that remained. Everything was contained into one single room. They always love the fact that I take pictures of them, because then I spend more time with them, and they don’t feel lonely anymore. After Prova passed away, I try to visit more so John can talk. He tells me stories of their early life, and how they met. There are so many stories. Here, life is silent, suspended. Everything is on a wait; A wait for something that I don’t completely understand.

Photo Credit: Sarker Protick

Spot News
3rd Prize, singles


23 October 2014

Islamic State (IS) group militants stand near an airstrike on Tilsehir hill on the Turkish border with Syria at the village of Yumurtalik, Sanliurfa province, Turkey. After the flashpoint Syrian border town of Kobani came under assault by the extremist group, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to allow 200 Iraqi Kurd peshmerga fighters to travel through Turkey to come to the town’s defense.

Photo Credit: Bulent Kilic

Spot News
1st Prize, singles


12 March 2014

Istanbul, Turkey

A young girl was wounded during clashes between riot police and protestors after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during anti-government protests. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at protestors in the capital Ankara, while in Istanbul, crowds shouting anti-government slogans lit a huge fire as they made their way to a cemetery for the boy’s burial.

Photo Credit: Bulent Kilic

1st Prize, singles


18 May 2014

Moree, New South Wales, Australia

Laurinda waits in her purple dress for the bus that will take her to Sunday School. She is among the many socially isolated young women in disadvantaged communities in Australia facing entrenched poverty, racism, trans-generational trauma, violence, addiction, and a range of other barriers to health and well-being.

Photo Credit: Raphaela Roselia

Daily Life
2nd Prize, singles


24 March 2014

Twin brothers Igor and Arthur hand out chocolates to their classmates to celebrate their ninth birthday. When they were two years old, their mother travelled to Moscow to work in the construction field and later died; they have no father. They are among thousands of children growing up without their parents in the Moldovan countryside. Young people have fled the country, leaving a dwindling elderly population and young children.

Photo Credit: Asa Sjostrom

General News
2nd Prize, singles


07 June 2014

Mediterranean Sea, Italy

Shipwrecked people aboard a boat are rescued 20 miles north of Libya by a frigate of the Italian navy. After hundreds of men, women and children had drowned in 2013 off the coast of Sicily and Malta, the Italian government put its navy to work under Operation Mare Nostrum rescuing refugees at sea. Only in 2014, 170,081 people were rescued and taken to Italy. More than 42,000 had come from Syria, 34,000 from Eritrea, 10,000 from Mali, 9,000 from Nigeria, as many from Gambia, 6,000 from Palestine, and more than 5,000 from Somalia.

Photo Credit: Massimo Sestini

General News
1st Prize, singles


26 August 2014

Donetsk, Ukraine

Damaged goods lie in a kitchen in downtown Donetsk. Ordinary workers, miners, teachers, pensioners, children, and elderly women and men are in the midst of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Artillery fire killed three people and wounded 10 on 26 August 2014.

Photo Credit: Sergei Ilnitsky

General News
2nd Prize, stories


13 May 2014

Abuja, Nigeria

School uniforms belonging to three of the missing girls.

In her school notebook, Hauwa Nkeki wrote a letter to her brother: "Dear Brother Nkeki, Million of greetings goes to you thousand to your friend zero to your enemies." Hauwa is one of the nearly 300 girls who were kidnapped by the Islamic militants Boko Haram on 14 April 2014 from their school dormitory in Chibok, a remote village in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram’s name translates roughly to “Western Education is Sinful.” The group believes that girls shouldn’t be in school and boys should only learn the Koran.

For the past few years, Boko Haram has been burning villages to the ground, using forced recruitment and carrying out an ongoing insurgency. Many thousands have died and the region has been devastated. No one took much notice before the girls were kidnapped. In May 2014, a hashtag campaign (#BringOurGirlsBack) became viral on Twitter and swept the globe. Within a week, it had attracted over two million tweets. A media frenzy began and coverage of the protests was extensive. But the thing that’s been missing from most of the coverage is the girls themselves.

Photo Credit: Glenna Gordon

General News
1st Prize, stories


23 November 2014

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Medical staff at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center work to escort a man in the throes of Ebola-induced delirium back into the isolation ward from which he escaped. In a state of confusion, he emerged from the isolation ward and attempted to escape over the back wall of the complex before collapsing in a convulsive state. A complete breakdown of mental facilities is a common stage of advanced Ebola. The man pictured here died shortly after this picture was taken.

In 2014, an outbreak of the lethal Ebola virus arrived in the small West African country of Sierra Leone. The outbreak began in the remote forest regions of neighboring Guinea, where a young boy contracted the disease and set in motion the largest outbreak in history.

Sierra Leone, like Guinea and Liberia, was unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak. With health care systems that failed to adequately address basic medical issues, citizens were uniquely susceptible to this deadly pathogen. It swept through the country with a fury, killing entire families and preying on those kind enough to care for the sick.

Photo Credit: Pete Muller

2nd Prize, singles


23 November 2014

East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA

Odell Beckham (#13) of the New York Giants makes a one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.

Photo Credit: Al Bello

1st Prize, singles


14 July 2014

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Argentina player Lionel Messi faces the World Cup trophy during the final ceremony at Maracana Stadium. His team lost to Germany 1-0, after a goal by Mario Götze in extra time.

Photo Credit: Bao Tailiang

3rd Prize, stories


18 December 2013

Cadet in the Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Breda, The Netherlands.

Portraits of cadets from the most important military academies of Europe.

Photo Credit: Paolo Verzone

1st Prize, Stories


22 January 2014

When spores of the fungus land on an ant, they penetrate its exoskeleton and enter its brain, compelling the host to leave its normal habitat on the forest floor and scale a nearby tree. Filled to bursting with fungus, the dying ant fastens itself to a leaf or another surface. Fungal stalks burst from the ant's husk and rain spores onto ants below to begin the process again.

Parasites are often dismissed as vile, lowly bloodsuckers, but some of these creatures have evolved the incredible ability to manipulate the bodies and minds of their hosts. The enslaved hosts turn into bodyguards, feeding machines, and transport vessels for their parasite overlords.

Photo Credit: Anand Varma

Long-Term Projects
1st Prize, stories

FAMILY LOVE 1993-2014

28 January 1993

Julie, 18, stood in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel, barefoot, pants unzipped, and an eight-day-old infant in her arms. She lived in San Francisco’s SRO district, a neighborhood of soup kitchens and cheap rooms. Her room was piled with clothes, overfull ashtrays and trash. She lived with Jack, who had given her AIDS, and father of her first baby, Rachel. Her first memory of her mother is getting drunk with her at 6 and then being sexually abused by her stepfather. She ran away at 14 and became a drug addict at 15. Living in alleys and crack dens, and bunked with more dirty old men than she cared to count. “Rachel,” Julie said, “has given me a reason to live.” San Francisco, California 1993

I first met Julie on January 28, 1993. For the next 21 years I have photographed Julie Baird and her family’s complex story of poverty, AIDS, drugs, multiple homes, relationships, births, deaths, loss and reunion. Following Julie from the streets of San Francisco to the woods of Alaska. By 2002, Julie had given birth to five children: Rachel, Tommy, Jordan, Ryan and Jason Jr. All were taken from her by the State of California. She had “stolen” one newborn from the hospital so he wouldn't be taken. A stunt that cost Julie and her partner, Jason, time in jail. In 2008, Julie gave birth to her sixth child, Elyssa, the only one they were able to keep.

Photo Credit: Darcy Padilla

2nd Prize, singles


23 November 2014

A group of young Samburu warriors encounter a rhino for the first time in their lives. Most people in Kenya never get the opportunity to see the wildlife that exists literally in their own backyard.

Organized by sophisticated, heavily armed criminal networks and fueled by heavy demand from newly minted millionaires in emerging markets, poaching is devastating the great animals of the African plains. Much needed attention has been focused on the plight of wildlife and the conflict between poachers and increasingly militarized wildlife rangers, but very little has been said about the indigenous communities on the frontlines of the poaching wars and the work that is being done to strengthen them. These communities hold the key to saving Africa’s great animals.

Photo Credit: Ami Vitale

1st Prize, singles


29 November 2014

A monkey cowers as its trainer Qi Defang approaches during training for a circus in Suzhou, Anhui province, China. With more than 300 circus troupes, Suzhou is known as the hometown of the Chinese circus.

Photo Credit: Yongzhi Chu

Spot News
3rd Prize, stories


15 April 2014

Nour-Mazandaran, Iran

Prison authorities bring Balal to the scaffold.

Iran has one of the highest rates of executions carried out. Some of these executions are public. In December 2007, Abdollah, a 17-year-old boy, was killed in a street brawl in the Wednesday market in Nour by his childhood friend Balal. Balal was charged with murder and the complicated prosecution took seven years until he was sentenced to death.

Balal was due to be executed by hanging in the early morning of 15 April 2014. But moments before the sun rose, the victim’s mother, Samera Alinejad, decided to pardon Balal by slapping his face instead of pulling the chair from underneath his feet. In Islamic law, executions must be carried out before sunrise. After the images of this act of forgiveness were published, the lives of about 25 other murder convicts were spared.

Photo Credit: Arash Khamooshi

Spot News
2nd Prize, stories


19 February 2014

Kiev, Ukraine

A deserted avenue in the Maidan after violent clashes with Ukrainian police.

After several months of violence, anti-government protesters remained mobilized by holding barricades in Kiev’s Independence Square, known simply as the Maidan. On Saturday, 20 February, unidentified snipers opened fire on unarmed protesters as they were advancing on Instituska Street. According to an official source, 70 protesters were shot dead. Ukrainian riot police claimed that several police officers were wounded or shot dead by snipers as well. An unofficial source said that snipers opened fire on the police and protesters at the same time in order to provoke both camps. 20 February was the bloodiest day of the Maidan protests, and two days after, President Viktor Yanukovych left the country.

Photo Credit: Jerome Sessini

Contemporary Issues
2nd Prize, singles


06 December 2014

Yiwu, China

Wei, a 19-year-old Chinese worker, wearing a face mask and a Santa cap, stands next to Christmas decorations being dried in a factory, as red powder used as coloring hovers in the air. Wei needs to change the mask five times a day, and the cap protects his hair from the red dust.

Photo Credit: Ronghui Chen

World Press Photo of the Year

Contemporary Issues
1st Prize, singles


18 May 2014

St. Petersburg, Russia

Jon, 21, and Alex, 25, a gay couple, during an intimate moment. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups.

Photo Credit: Mads Nissen


AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Organizers of the prestigious World Press Photo contest have disqualified one of their winners after he told them one of the pictures in a series of images about the Belgian city of Charleroi was actually taken somewhere else.

A series of atmospheric photos by Italian Giovanni Troilo portraying scenes of life in gritty, post-industrial Charleroi, east of Brussels. won first prize last month in the contest's Contemporary Issues Story category.

The images triggered heated online debate among photojournalists and a complaint from Charleroi's mayor that his city had been misrepresented. World Press Photo launched an investigation that cleared Troilo of staging photos.

However, late Wednesday his award was revoked because one photo was taken not in Charleroi, but in nearby Brussels.

Troilo could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

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