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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Three awards for Crossing Continents
Lucy Ash and Giselle Portenier
Lucy Ash and Giselle Portenier collect one of their awards

An edition of Crossing Continents originally broadcast in June 2003 which investigated the Indian dowry system has scooped three major awards.

The programme won the Sony Gold Award because according to the judges it was "moving and anger-inducing, with excellent reportage and actuality."

They added: "Lucy Ash's sensitive presentation both stood back to tell the story, whilst sharing the emotion of the subject with the listener. Powerful radio, which peeled back the layers of a horrifying story."

The winner stood out for the unflinching way in which issues were addressed
Amnesty International

The programme also won the Amnesty International radio prize and this was the judges verdict:

"Although illegal for 40 years, the system is flourishing, as Presenter Lucy Ash, Producer Giselle Portenier and Editor Hugh Levinson made clear.

"Demands for money now extend beyond the wedding, with burnt brides and aborted foetuses testifying silently to the darkest side of the dowry economy.

"The winner stood out for the unflinching way in which issues were addressed and politicians put on the spot without ever losing respect for the country or its culture."

Finally the programme won the One World Radio Documentary Award

No one knows how common it is. Either the women are afraid of bringing evidence, or they are dead
Editor Hugh Levinson

The judges' report said: "Lucy Ash's eye-witness accounts of the daily deaths of newly-wed women who are burnt deliberately by their husbands was unforgettable."

Editor Hugh Levinson said: "No one knows how common it is. Either the women are afraid of bringing evidence, or they are dead.

"Their husbands often force them to commit suicide... they pour kerosene over them and hand them a match."

A shortened and updated version of the programme will be broadcast on the BBC World Service later this summer.



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SEE ALSO:
India's dowry deaths
16 Jul 03  |  Crossing Continents
Dying for a dowry
07 Jul 03  |  Crossing Continents


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