The fifth and final freelancer in this week’s #WorldPressFreedomDay series is journalist & photographer Sally Hayden from Ireland, who currently focuses on migration, conflict and humanitarian crises. Here she is photographed [left] while reporting in Burkina Faso in 2014
The photo above was taken by Matus Krcmarik. Across the day we'll be sharing pictures & insights from Sally that give glimpses of her experiences as a #freelancer working internationally. Follow this thread!
"I took this in eastern #Sudan, close to the border with Eritrea, where I met teenagers & children who had fled compulsory, indefinite military service,” Sally said. “This was one of the few times I brought a fixer, as it's impossible to travel alone as a foreign woman in Sudan.”
Sally added: “I wasn't even allowed to book a hotel for myself in the east, and had to get travel permits, photo permits, and was closely supervised by various government security agencies. These children were so young and it was heartbreaking to know what they've been through.”
The freelancer began her in-depth reporting on migration after going to Calais in 2015, while still with @vicenews. “I took this picture there on one particularly horrible day around 6 months later. A group of Iranian men sewed their lips together in protest at their treatment.”
“I don't know what happened to them but I've stayed in touch with many others I met in Calais. One Syrian, Ziad Ghandour, ended up collaborating with me on a project about reverse migration to Syria,” Sally added
“We're also both now involved with the @RefugeeJourno, which helps exiled #journalists restart their careers in the UK.”
Last year Sally visited regime-held Syria for 10 days. “As a freelancer one of the hardest things is not having people to speak about your stories with,” she said. “In Damascus I met a refugee who returned home from Germany only to be arrested, tortured + sent to the frontlines.”
Sally added: “That reporting was later a finalist for @amnesty & @onewm awards, and I was flown to Berlin to testify about it in a major legal challenge against the German government. I do all that, however, knowing my interviewee remains in huge danger.”
In 2017, Sally reported for the second time in northeast Nigeria [below]. “Over the past year or so, I’m incredibly grateful to have had support from organisations like @RoryPeckTrust and @FFRegister when it comes to help with security plans and risk assessments,” she said.
“There were a lot of suicide bombings while I was there – I'll never forget the night of Eid celebrations, hearing explosions and gunfire coming from different directions but not knowing who had been hurt. The next day, I found out the cook in the hotel I ate in had been killed.”
“In this photo [above], you can see the drawings left by Boko Haram on the walls in Gwoza, the headquarter of their caliphate from 2014-15.”

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More from @rorypecktrust

Sep 26, 2018
First up in our #RoryPeckAwards spotlight series is #News finalist Al-Emrun Garjon, a Bangladeshi freelance photojournalist and videographer, shortlisted for his film The Rohingya Crisis [1]
100,000s of Rohingya Muslims have poured into Bangladesh since August 2017, fleeing persecution in the Rakhine province of #Myanmar. Garjon’s footage captures their struggle to survive this long journey in search of safety [2]
From September 2017 to April 2018, Garjon’s daily reports on the mass exodus of Rohingyas showed a deep commitment to covering breaking news and human-interest stories that illustrate human suffering in a new way [3]
Read 5 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
ANNOUNCING: Finalists for #RoryPeckAwards 2018 - outstanding films and footage this year from #freelancers across the globe bit.ly/2x6sTB5
Congratulations to the #RoryPeckAwards finalists for #News: @AlEmrunGarjon @HumamHusari and @MikelKonate! bit.ly/2x6sTB5
Congratulations to the #RoryPeckAwards finalists for News Features: @IlayaFilms @RoopaGogineni and @JManzano_Media! bit.ly/2x6sTB5
Read 4 tweets
May 3, 2018
The 4th freelancer in our #WPFD18 series is Ukrainian photographer Alena Grom. Born in Donetsk, a city controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, Alena fled with her family to live in Kyiv. Her work focuses on children living in conflict zones and refugees in her country
Alena took this photo last spring in Marinka, a badly damaged city on the front-line of the armed conflict in Donbass. “The girl's name is Nastya,” the freelancer said. “She lives with her family, including her little sister, near military positions." [1/4]
“Their whole home is littered with fragments from bombings. While I was shooting, I could hear automatic fire and explosions behind their garden. I was shocked: neither the children nor the parents reacted to the shelling." [2/4]
Read 12 tweets
May 2, 2018
Day 3 of our #WorldPressFreedomDay series on the working lives of #freelancers worldwide - today we're sharing insights from freelance investigative journalist Mabvuto Banda, who lives and works in Malawi. Follow this thread across the day to hear about his experiences
The climate for journalists in #Malawi has improved over the last 15 years. Nonetheless Mabvuto has been arrested on numerous occasions during his twenty-year career in #journalism. In Malawi, a law still provides for the imprisonment of anyone who 'insults' the head of state.
Mabvuto said of the photo above: “This is me with reporters in the #newsroom. We were working on a story about the growing calls within the ruling party to push the current President to stand down." [1/2]
Read 7 tweets
May 1, 2018
For the second day of our #WPFD18 series exploring behind the scenes of freelancers at work in regions across the world, we'll be sharing insights from freelance photographer César Rodríguez in Mexico - a country that ranks 147th of 180 on @RSF_inter's World Press Freedom Index
Freelancer César Rodríguez was born in the western Mexican state of Nayarit, where he took this photo: “This was in a living room in a house in Tepic, Nayarit, where a clash between armed civilians and the navy took place." [1/2]
"At least five people died, and it’s believed that other armed civilians escaped. I chose this image because when I see it, it reminds me of places where people are at war – "official" wars – and it reminds me that here in #Mexico we have our own war as well.” [2/2]
Read 14 tweets
Apr 30, 2018
This is Syrian #freelance photographer Msallam Abd Albaset. Today he’ll be the first freelancer in this week’s #WPFD18 series to share photos from his workplace: Eastern Ghouta, #Syria.
هذا هو المصور السوري المستقل مسلم عبد الباسط. اليوم ، سيكون أول صحفي حر في سلسلة #WPFD18 هذا الأسبوع لمشاركة الصور من مكان عمله: الغوطة الشرقية.
"A difficult day for me as a news photographer was 4th April 2017. An air raid targeted my neighbours’ house. In the very first moments of the bombing, I was completely unable to photograph anything..." [1/2]
Read 16 tweets

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