USA Human Rights Defender Award given to Syrian HRD Hanadi Zahlout

November 19, 2013

On 15 November 2013 William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary of State of the USA, spoke at a ceremony honoring Syrian human rights defender Ms. Hanadi Zahlout, who was accorded the 2013 Human Rights Defender Award of the US Government. He said inter alia: “Every year we recognize those who protect and promote human rights in the face of extreme adversity. Every year we are humbled anew by their audacity to stand up to injustice and stand on the frontlines of the march of human dignity. And every year we reflect on our own obligations, both as heirs to the struggles and sacrifices of prior generations, and also as stewards of what they have achieved“. Hanadi Zahlout documented the regime’s abuses, using social media to bring them to the attention of the Syrian people and the world. Hanadi’s images and testimonies from the frontlines of the Syrian Revolution shocked the world’s conscience and rallied international condemnation of the Assad regime. “Despite multiple arrests, the detention and torture of her fellow activists, and repeated threats to her life, Ms. Zahlout was not deterred. … While in jail, Hanadi took up the cause of political prisoners, demanding improved conditions and the provision of medicine in the women’s section of the prison. In exile, she continues to link grassroots activists inside Syria with international media, promote dialogue among the opposition, and mentor young Syrian journalists” …..”So while the regime and extremists work to tear Syria apart, Ms. Zahlout and her peers work to repair its social fabric and build a new, democratic, and tolerant Syria. We recognize Hanadi today knowing that her vision of a new Syria seems distant and at times out of reach. But we know from her own story, and from the stories of the Human Rights Defenders recognized in years past, that a just cause is ultimately a winning cause.” ….”on behalf of Secretary Kerry and the American people, it is my great privilege to present Ms. Zahlout with the Human Rights Defender Award for her tireless commitment to a peaceful democratic transition in Syria, at great personal cost“.

via Remarks at Human Rights Defenders Award Ceremony for Ms. Hanadi Zahlout.

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