SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — The city of Sarajevo has bestowed honorary citizenship on Roy Gutman, the foreign editor in McClatchy's Washington Bureau, and awarded him the key to the city to honor his reporting on the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia by ethnic Serbs during the 1992-1995 war.
Sarajevo mayor Alija Behman presented the award in the Bosnian capital at a televised ceremony on April 6, the 65th anniversary of the city's liberation after World War II.
"The investigative work of Roy Gutman had a decisive impact on directing American and world attention to wartime events in Bosnia and Herzegovina," said the citation, which the Sarajevo City Council approved unanimously in mid-March. The coverage "provided additional arguments for (international) intervention and establishing peace in the region."
The inscription accompanying the key said: "The citizens of Sarajevo hereby express their respect and gratitude" for Roy Gutman's "contribution to the truth and the facts about the events of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital city in the period of 1992-1995."
Gutman, at the time Newsday's European correspondent, was the first reporter to expose a network of concentration camps run by Bosnian Serbs, where mostly Muslim civilians were held, beaten, starved and often killed. His reporting led to the closure of some of the worst camps, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 5,000 to 6,000 lives were saved.
He also reported on state-organized deportation of whole villages, the systematic rape of young Bosnian women, the widespread destruction of the culture and the involvement of top Bosnian Serb officials in the alleged crimes. Many of those identified in his stories as responsible for the assault on civilians have been sentenced by the U.N.-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, where Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is on trial.
Gutman's work won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for foreign reporting, the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting, the Hal Boyle award of the Overseas Press Club, the Heywood Broun Award of the Newspaper Guild, a special Human Rights in Media award of the International League for Human Rights, and other honors. He became McClatchy's foreign editor in December 2006.
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