2012 World Press Photo: Arab Spring portrait receives top prize

Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda won the top 2012 World Press Photo prize on Friday, with his Arab Spring portrait.

Samuel Aranda/New York Times/AP
The 2012 World Press Photo of the year by Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda, for The New York Times, shows a woman holding a wounded relative during protests against president Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Oct. 15, 2011.

A portrait of a veiled woman cradling a wounded relative in her arms, taken in Yemen by Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda for The New York Times, won the top World Press Photo prize on Friday.

The photograph captured a moment in the conflict in Yemen, when demonstrators against outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh used a mosque in Sanaa as a field hospital to treat the wounded. But judges said it also spoke more broadly for the Arab Spring.

"The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on," Aidan Sullivan, chair of the jury, said of Aranda's photograph, which won World Press Photo of the Year 2011.

"We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East."

Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj won first prize in the Daily Life Singles category with his photograph of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung on a wall in Pyongyang.

(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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