“My Neighbor the Suspected War Criminal” from “Reveal” and PRX Wins Overseas Press Club of America Award
The “Reveal” episode is honored with The Lowell Thomas Award for best radio, audio, or podcast coverage of international affairs
The Overseas Press Club of America — the United States’ oldest journalist association dedicated to international news — today announced the winners of its 84th annual awards, including the “Reveal” episode “My Neighbor the Suspected War Criminal.” The episode is honored with The Lowell Thomas Award for best radio, audio, or podcast coverage of international affairs.
“Reveal” from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX is the country’s first weekly investigative public radio show. “My Neighbor the Suspected War Criminal” aired in 2022 and was also released on-demand across all major podcast platforms. The piece from Ike Sriskandarajah, Neroli Price, Brett Myers, Andy Donohue, and the team at “Reveal” examined why powerful people suspected of committing war crimes often walk free.
Additional information about the episode is available below.
Overseas Press Club of America judges note: “The scope was at once both human and global; it had compelling characters and a personal connection… Among the highlights was an interview with federal officials who were asked whether the government had ever charged anyone with a war crime. Their stumbling response is a great example of journalists holding public officials to account.”
In addition to the Overseas Press Club of America, audio reporting from “Reveal” has also been honored by the Peabody Awards, RFK Human Rights, the Edward R. Murrow Awards, duPont-Columbia Awards, Livingston Awards, the Loeb Awards, and more.
Additional honorees in 84th annual Overseas Press Club of America Awards include CNN, ABC, “The Washington Post,” “The New York Times,” “FRONTLINE,” ProPublica, and more. Full information regrding the awards is available here.
Listen to the latest from “Reveal” here.
Reveal: My Neighbor, the Suspected War Criminal on Apple Podcasts
This month, atrocities in Ukraine have triggered new allegations of war crimes. While people around the world call for…
About “My Neighbor the Suspected War Criminal” from “Reveal and PRX:
In July, a popular uprising in Sri Lanka forced the country’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to step down and flee the country. Rajapaksa is accused of carrying out massive atrocities more than a decade ago.
“Reveal” reporter Ike Sriskandarajah looks into why powerful people suspected of committing war crimes often walk free. Sriskandarajah spent six months investigating the U.S. government’s failure to charge accused perpetrators of the worst crimes in the world. The federal government says it is pursuing leads and cases against nearly 1,700 alleged human rights violators and war criminals. Victims of international atrocities sometimes even describe running into them at their local coffee shop or in line at Walgreens.
After the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, families seeking accountability for state-sanctioned violence filed a suit against a man they say is a war criminal. A private eye was tasked with hunting down Rajapaksa, better known as Gota, who previously was Sri Lanka’s defense minister. The P.I. found him in Southern California, shopping at Trader Joe’s.
At the close of World War II, dozens of former Nazi leaders came to the United States. After decades of inaction, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter created a special unit within the Department of Justice dedicated to hunting down Nazi war criminals. But decades after passing the first substantive human rights statutes that make it possible to prosecute war criminals for crimes like torture and genocide, the U.S. has successfully prosecuted only one person under the laws. Sriskandarajah talks to experts about why prosecutors often take an “Al Capone” strategy to go after war criminals, pursuing them on lesser charges like immigration violations rather than human rights abuses.
With little action from the government to prosecute war criminals, victims of violence are instead using civil lawsuits to try to seek accountability. Lawyers at the Center for Justice & Accountability have brought two dozen cases against alleged war criminals and human rights violators — and never lost at trial. But when the lawyers share their evidence with the federal government, it often feels like the information disappears into a black box.
PRX is a non-profit public media company specializing in audio journalism and storytelling. PRX serves independent producers and organizations by helping them connect to their most engaged, supportive audiences. One of the world’s leading podcast publishers, PRX works in partnership with TED, PBS, the Smithsonian, Futuro Media, GBH, Religion of Sports, and more. PRX is also home to Radiotopia, known as one of the most creative and successful podcast networks. In addition, PRX distributes trusted public radio programming to hundreds of stations nationwide, including “The World,” “The Moth Radio Hour,” “This American Life,” “Snap Judgment,” “Reveal,” “The Takeaway,” and “Latino USA.” PRX programs have been recognized by the Peabody Awards, the duPont-Columbia Awards, the IDA Documentary Awards, and the Pulitzer Prizes. In 2022, Futuro Media and PRX won a Pulitzer Prize. Visit prx.org for more.