US State Department gives out International Women of Courage Awards 2016

April 8, 2016
Missing in action: Wheelchair-bound human rights advocate Ni Yulan failed to attend the awarding ceremony in the U.S. She told the BBC that her passport was withheld.Photo U.S. Department of State/Flickr

Human rights lawyer and activist Ni Yulan became one of the 2016 recipients of the International Women of Courage Awards conferred by the U.S. Department of State on 29 March. The wheelchair-bound human rights lawyer Ni Yulan from China was not present; she he told the BBC that her passport was withheld.  Yulan Ni won the Dutch Human Rights Tulip in 2011.[]

She shares the 2016 recognition from the USA with 13 other women:

Thelma Aldana (Attorney General, Guatemala)
Nihal Naj Ali Al-Awlaqi (Minister of Legal Affairs, Yemen)

Nisha Ayub (Transgender Rights Advocate, Malaysia) […]
Debra Baptist-Estrada (Port Commander, Belize Immigration and Nationality, Belize)
Sara Hossain (Barrister, Supreme Court, Bangladesh)
Nagham Nawzat (Yezidi Activist and Gynecologist, Iraq)
Zhanna Nemtsova (Journalist and Activist, Russia)
Vicky Ntetema (Executive Director of Under the Same Sun, Tanzania)
Awadeya Mahmoud (Founder and Chair of the Women’s Food and Tea Sellers’ Cooperative and the Women’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative for Khartoum State, Sudan)
Fatimata M’baye (Co-founder and President of the Mauritanian Association for Human Rights, Mauritania)
Zuzana Stevulová (Director of the Human Rights League, Slovakia)
Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit (Bookstore Owner and Co-founder of Creating Awareness for Enhanced Democracy, Thailand)
Latifa Ibn Ziaten (Interfaith Activist, France)

“Every one of these women who are here today and those who were celebrated previously have all dedicated their lives to the pursuit of justice,” said USA Secretary of State John Kerry during his speech.

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2 Responses to “US State Department gives out International Women of Courage Awards 2016”

  1. […] FATIMATA M’BAYE, Lawyer and Co-Founder of the Mauritanian Human Rights Association, said that there had been a moratorium on the death penalty in Mauritania since 1987, though there were still death penalty rulings handed down.  She drew attention to the case of Mohamed Ould Mkheitir, a blogger who had posted an article about social discrimination in Mauritania, which meant he was accused of blasphemy.  When he was arrested, he was asked to repent and quickly withdraw the article, but unfortunately, he was still prosecuted quickly by the police.  This case had given rise to a great deal of violence and hatred within the local community.  Mohamed was sentenced to death in 2015 by the penal court of the country, which was confirmed in 2016.  There was an appeal launched, and a two-year sentence was later handed down.  Ms. M’Baye said that the blogger was currently being held in a secret location.  The source of law in Mauritania was Islamic law, and women were often sentenced to the death penalty, many times accused of infanticide.  The death penalty was an egregious practice that was humiliating and degrading.  The United Nations could play a role in ending the death penalty by asking those States that still practiced it to abandon this punishment in the name of the right to life. [see also:…%5D […]

  2. […] arising out of immense personal tragedy, (that has) won admirers at home and beyond.”[see:…Ibn Ziaten’s son, Imad, was the first person to die at the hands of terrorist Mohamed Merah during […]

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