Spanish lensman wins press photo award

2012-02-10 14:44
The 2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times, shows a woman holding a wounded relative during protests against president Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen. (Samuel Aranda, New York Times, AP)

The 2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times, shows a woman holding a wounded relative during protests against president Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen. (Samuel Aranda, New York Times, AP)

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The Hague - Spanish freelance photographer Samuel Aranda has won the coveted World Press Photo Award for his moving portrait of a veiled woman cradling a wounded relative in Yemen, judges said on Friday.

Three AFP photographers also won prizes in the 55th edition of the contest, with Yasuyoshi Chiba winning first place in the People in the News - Stories category for his pictures of the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster.

AFP's Massoud Hossaini won second prize in the Spot News - Singles category, while Pedro Pardo came in third for Contemporary Issues - Stories.

The picture by Aranda for The New York Times, taken inside a mosque used as a field hospital during clashes between police and protesters against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule, came to represent the Arab Spring, a statement released in Amsterdam said.

"It is a photo that speaks for the entire region. It stands for Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, for all that happened in the Arab Spring," said one of the judges, Koyo Kouoh of Cameroon.

"But it shows a private, intimate side of what went on. And it shows the role that women played, not only as care-givers, but as active people in the movement," Kouoh added.

Aranda, a former AFP photographer now represented by Corbis Images, will receive a prize of €10 000 and a Canon camera at a ceremony in Amsterdam on April 21, organisers said.

Hossaini's winning picture was shot after an explosion at a religious ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, while Pardo's win rewarded his work on Mexican drug cartel wars in Acapulco.

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