Eliot Higgins, ontvanger Vrede van Nijmegen Penning 2024
Eliot Higgins, ontvanger Vrede van Nijmegen Penning 2024

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins awarded 2024 Treaties of Nijmegen Medal

The 2024 Treaties of Nijmegen Medal will be awarded to the British founder of the international investigative journalism collective Bellingcat, Eliot Higgins. He will receive this award for his innovative contribution to peace and human rights. The medal will be awarded in Nijmegen's Stevenskerk church on 18 April 2024, after which Higgins will deliver the Treaties of Nijmegen Lecture.

You can register for the presentation of the Vrede van Nijmegen Penning, on 18 April at 16:00 in the Stevenskerk in Nijmegen, via the organisation's website

The Bellingcat international network of journalists and citizen journalists has been innovatively using public data and images to uncover the truth about crimes, human rights violations, and abuses in conflicts and wars since 2014. Founder and citizen journalist Eliot Ward Higgins (born in 1979) previously wrote as a blogger and citizen investigative journalist under the pseudonym of Brown Moses. He mainly uses open data and social media channels for his investigations into abuses. In 2015, he received the Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Award, a German award for excellence in journalism.

For example, Higgins and Bellingcat investigated the wars in Syria and the Russo-Ukrainian war, the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Higgins first got widespread media attention for identifying weapons in videos of the Syrian conflict. Bellingcat worked with Transparency International to expose the misuse of Scottish Limited Partnerships for criminal money laundering schemes in the UK. Bellingcat also published a high-profile investigation into the murder of Óscar Pérez in Venezuela, together with Forensic Architecture.

Bellingcat shares this methodology with an ever-growing network of citizen journalists. Major institutions, such as the International Criminal Court and the UN's International Independent and Impartial Mechanism on Syria, have also expressed interest in using open data for evidence. In 2018, the documentary 'Bellingcat - Truth in a Post-Truth World' was released, which zooms in on the work of Higgins and his colleagues. The documentary can be watched via NPO Start

Bellingcat's innovative approach, which involves using publicly available data and analyses by citizen journalists, is particularly important for interpreting facts and images as evidence of crimes, conflict abuses, and human rights violations. Through their publications, they contribute to international peace and security in contemporary and innovative ways.

With this award, Radboud University, NXP and the Municipality of Nijmegen want to show that, in addition to appreciating people who contribute to peace from their position in public administration, literature, and science, they also attach great value to icons of courageous and engaged citizenship.

Treaties of Nijmegen

The Treaties of Nijmegen in 1678 brought a temporary end to the wars ravaging Europe. In the city on the Waal, countries such as Spain, France, Sweden, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire came together to sign peace treaties to end several wars on the European continent. In many European countries, the Treaties of Nijmegen appear in history books as a pivotal moment in European history.

Vrede van Nijmegen Penning

Treaties of Nijmegen Medal

The Treaties of Nijmegen Medal is a biennial award presented to an international key player who is dedicated to the European cause. The Treaties of Nijmegen Medal will be awarded for the seventh time this year. Previous laureates include: Jacques Delors (2010), Umberto Eco (2012), Neelie Kroes (2014), the European Court of Human Rights (2016), Paul Polman (2018) and Frans Timmermans (2022). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Medal was not awarded in 2020.

The Treaties of Nijmegen Medal is an initiative of the Municipality of Nijmegen, Radboud University, and NXP Semiconductors (PLC), and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Evening Programma

The Future of Truth with Eliot Higgins: INNOVATE Meetup in collaboration with Radboud Reflects

How do you reveal the truth in a post-truth era? How does journalism change in times of social media and open source information? How do we navigate a landscape where information is both free and present in unlimited quantities? 

As part of the programme around the Treaties of Nijmegen Medal 2024, Innovate and Radboud Reflects are organising a meetup about the evolution of news, the challenges of disinformation and our joint search for truth in a time of digital abundance. 

Meetup: April 17, 2024 in the Stevenskerk, Nijmegen, with contributions from Eliot Higgins (Bellingcat), journalists and researchers. Programmes and tickets available through the organisation