AP: An Iranian photographer who was anonymously awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for capturing a chilling image of men before a firing squad was honored Monday at a ceremony for this year’s winners. Associated Press
By MARCUS FRANKLIN
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – An Iranian photographer who was anonymously awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for capturing a chilling image of men before a firing squad was honored Monday at a ceremony for this year’s winners.
The identity of Jahangir Razmi had been kept secret out of concern for his safety but was revealed in December by The Wall Street Journal with the photographer’s permission.
“It’s a very nice feeling. I’ve waited for 27 years, and I’ve always been longing for this day,” Razmi said through an interpreter just before the ceremony at Columbia University.
The photo depicted a line of 11 blindfolded men executed by a firing squad in 1979, winning the Pulitzer for Spot News Photography – the only time in Pulitzer history that the board gave an anonymous award.
Razmi was presented with a certificate and $10,000 in award money. The slender, salt and pepper-haired man did not address the gathering.
The mother and sister of two of the men in the photo were present. Joshua Prager, the Journal reporter who revealed Razmi’s identity, also attended.
As he was heading back to his table, Monir Nahid, who witnessed the execution of her sons Ahsan, 23 and Shahrivar, 20, tearfully embraced Razmi. Her daughter, Roya Nahid, sitting nearby, also cried openly. Both women are Kurds who now live in Orange County, Calif.
The Pulitzer board, in announcing the winners in April, gave special recognition to Razmi for the 1979 photo, taken after Islamic radicals overthrew the shah of Iran. It was published by the Iranian newspaper Ettela’at and later distributed by United Press International. His photo has long been used by critics of Iran’s Islamic government as a symbol of the regime’s brutality.