South China Morning Post reporters won six of the nine awards in one of Asia's top journalism awards, including the top prize for a feature in the English newspaper category. Results of the 10th Annual Human Rights Press Awards announced yesterday saw the Post's feature writer, Sherry Lee, taking the top prize in the newspaper feature category for her body of work comprising articles on gender, street sleepers and HIV/Aids in Guangzhou. News reporter Ravina Shamdasani won two merit certificates in the general news category for her reporting on gay activists and children's rights and a third merit in features for 'Doing the rights thing' about the travails of an asylum seeker. Reporter Polly Hui's 'Ah Chi's misery tip of iceberg' about the plight of a physically handicapped man and Peter Kammerer's Sunday Morning Post expose on human trafficking as part of a body of work, received merits in the news and feature categories, respectively. Meanwhile, Sunday Morning Post reporter Raymond Ma is expected to be given a merit award at the Consumer Rights Reporting Awards 2005 on Wednesday. The award is for a story he wrote last year exposing the dangers of a rack-like device being sold in Hong Kong which claims to make its users physically taller. The product has since been taken off the market. The Human Rights Press Awards news prize went to The Standard's Sylvia Hui. In features, Agence France-Presse's Ed Lane and The Asian Wall Street Journal's Qian Qian received merits. The competition attracted a record 305 entries - representing an 'impressive 55 per cent jump' from last year, said host Francis Moriarty of the Foreign Correspondents' Club. Organisers the FCC, the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Amnesty International Hong Kong Section called the quality and number of entries 'an exclamation mark at the end of the Human Rights Press Awards' first decade of honouring the best rights-related journalism in Hong Kong and the Asian region'. Malaysian publisher and rights activist Stephen Gan, the award-winning publisher of Malaysiakini (Malaysia Now), an online newspaper testing government limits on press freedom, was guest speaker. He said: 'Words and images are powerful. They can make or unmake heroes, can build or destroy democracy, they can promote or smother justice. Which is why journalists often pay a high price for their profession.' He said not only repressive regimes threaten press freedom. 'We should not leave out the fact that commercial interests also encroach on the independence of the media.' Winners were announced at a lunch ceremony yesterday at the FCC. There were seven prizes and 15 merit certificates in English-language categories. The Chinese-language panel awarded 12 prizes and 16 merit certificates. One prize and 11 certificates were awarded in photography.