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Herald journalist picks up top accolade for human rights reporting

Journalist Billy Briggs from The Herald in Glasgow has picked up a top accolade from Amnesty International, which recognise excellence in human rights reporting.

The staff reporter won the Nations and Regions award for his chilling account of an insidious new breed of Nazism sweeping across Russia.

The award was presented at a ceremony at London’s Banqueting House, for his article on Fascism in Russia, called The Iron Fist of Hate, which appeared last November in The Herald Magazine.

In terse, powerful language it detailed the nightmarish world of 20-year-old Maxim Tesak (pictured), a leading member of Russian Goal, a Moscow-based neo-Nazi paramilitary group.

During an interview the skinhead told the 37-year-old journalist that he wanted his country rid of “niggers, Jews, the Chinese, Indians, Arabs, people from the Caucasus: any f***er who is not white and Russian”.

  • Pic: Angela Catlin
  • Billy, who joined the Herald three-and-a-half years ago following six months at The Irvine Times, wrote: “His manner is unnerving, his face inscrutable: dead eyes like a great white shark. He says he is at war.”

    Billy told HoldtheFrontPage: “Moscow is the most amazing place I have ever been to.

    “I wasn’t frightened meeting the skinhead – but he was quite intimidating.”

    The award is the second Billy has picked up for the feature, having previously scooping the Amnesty International Scottish Media Award for the same article.

    Deputy editor Joan McAlpine said: “We were delighted when Billy won the Scottish Amnesty award and this UK honour is fantastic.

    “This week there were protests in Moscow by minority groups angry at the level of organised racism in the country. Billy’s article exposed this terrible aspect of Russian society last year.”