Pulitzer Prize photographer is revealed, 26 years later

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The Independent Online

More than 25 years after he took an extraordinary image that won one of journalism's highest awards, the photographerJahangir Razmi is to be formally recognised by the Pulitzer Prize Board.

In 1979, eight months after Islamic radicals overthrew the Shah of Iran, Razmi took a photograph of the execution by firing squad of 11 Kurds at Sanandaj airport, 300 miles west of Tehran. The men had been summarily tried and accused of fomenting disturbances. All had claimed their innocence.

The image that Razmi took that day quickly made its way around the world and was credited to the United Press International, though it did not carry Razmi's name. The editor of the Tehran-based newspaper for which he worked decided that, given the political situation in the country, it would be safer if he was not identified.

Within months the image - Firing Squad in Iran - won a Pulitzer Prize, awarded for the only time in its history to "an anonymous photographer". Over the years, Razmi, now 58 and still living in Iran, has watched as others sought to claim credit for the picture but it was not until last weekend that he was identified in an article in The Wall Street Journal. "There is no more reason to hide," he said.

On Thursday, the Pulitzer board announced that Razmi would now be formally recognised, awarded his $10,000 (£5,000) prize and invited to New York for a ceremony.

Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzers, said: "We understand that Mr Razmi, who is the best judge of his circumstances, is eager to receive the award."

Joshua Prager, the Wall Street Journal reporter who identified Razmi, told the Associated Press that he first began investigating the story in 2002. He found Razmi's name in 2002 through media contacts and travelled to Iran in 2005 to work full time on the story.

"I love this man," Prager said. "He's such a good man. He's a humble man. He deserves credit."