Runners up for Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders 2016 announced

May 11, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped has announced that the finalists for its 2016 award are human rights defenders from Azerbaijan, Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Honduras, Palestine, and Tanzania. For more information on the annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk



The 6 finalists for 2016 are:

Phyoe Phyoe Aung, Burma/Myanmar

Ms. Phyoe Phyoe Aung is student rights defender in Burma/Myanmar. She is the General Secretary of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), and has led widespread protests for academic freedom across the country. She spent three years in prison for peacefully participating in the “Saffron Revolution” in 2008, and was again arrested in 2015 with more than 100 other students – many of whom were tortured. Phyoe Phyoe was released on presidential pardon just three weeks ago, in April 2016, but still risks being sentenced to more than nine years in prison on a number of charges related to her work leading protests for education reform.

#Burma #WHRD Phyoe Phyoe Aung selected as finalist for 2016 @Frontlinehrd Award… #FLDAward

Mohammed Khatib, Palestine

Mr. Mohammed Khatib is a human rights defender working on the right to self-determination in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He is Palestinian lawyer and one of the founders of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), which connects peaceful protests in different villages across Palestine. In his 11 years as a human rights defender, he has been targeted with harassment, detentions and abuse by the Israeli military, and physical assault by Israeli settlers. He has been one of the leaders of protests in his village of Bil’in, in the West Bank, which have been held every week since 2005, and which helped pressure the Israeli Supreme Court to order the re-routing of the Wall it has constructed around the village.

#Palestine #HRD Mohammed Khatib selected as finalist for 2016 @Frontlinehrd Award… #FLDAward

Ingrid Vergara Chavez, Colombia

Ms. Ingrid Vergara Chavez is a land rights defender working with the Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) in Sucre, Colombia. Ingrid and her colleagues demand justice and an end to impunity for government and paramilitary crimes, and advocate for the return of lands to displaced peasant and indigenous communities In response, she receives constant death threats. Four of her colleagues have been killed in the past two years, and she and her daughters have been threatened with weapons, public pamphlets, phone and email messages, and surveillance.

#Colombia #WHRD Ingrid Vergara Chavez selected as finalist for 2016 @Frontlinehrd Award…

Khalid Bagirov, Azerbaijan

Mr. Khalid Bagirov is a representative finalist, the face of a group of threatened and persecuted human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan. When the Azeri government began an unprecedented crackdown on civil society in 2013, lawyers taking on the cases of prominent human rights defenders and journalists became targets of government persecution themselves. For his bold work defending some of the most prominent and targeted HRDs in the country, Bagirov was disbarred in 2015 – but has since continued to litigate and win cases before the European Court of Human Rights. He continues to advise the few remaining rights lawyers in the country, who are collectively honoured with this nomination.

#Azerbaijan #HRD Khalid Bargirov & human rights lawyers selected as finalist for 2016 @Frontlinehrd Award… #FLDAward

Ana Mirian Romero, Honduras

Ms. Ana Mirian Romero is a land rights and indigenous rights defender in Honduras. She has been active in opposing the installation of the Los Encinos hydro-electric dam on indigenous land near the Chinacla river. In 2010 she filed a lawsuit for the recognition of the community’s ancestral lands, and now she her family are targets of repeated attacks by police, military and armed civilians connected to the hydroelectric company. Her children were forced to leave school due to repeated harassment, and in early 2016 her home was burned to the ground, after she returned home from giving birth to her youngest son.

#Honduras #WHRD Ana Mirian Romero selected as finalist for 2016 @Frontlinehrd Award… #FLDAward

Maanda Ngoitiko, Tanzania

Ms. Maanda Ngoitiko is a women’s rights, pastoralist rights, and land rights defender in Tanzania. She is one of the most targeted HRDs in the region, openly opposing “tourism” projects and land concessions that rob Maasai communities of their land and particularly harm women and girls’ education and economic opportunities. In 2013 the security services told Ngoitiko that if she didn’t stop, they would “take her away and never be seen again”. The next day she returned to her work. She continues to mobilise women to advocate for land and food security despite ongoing physical threats and judicial harassment. As recently as April 2016, local authorities called her in for interrogation.

#Tanzania #WHRD Maanda Ngoitiko selected as finalist for 2016 @Frontlinehrd Award… #FLDAward

Source: The Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk | Front Line Defenders

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One Response to “Runners up for Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders 2016 announced”

  1. […] An emerging leader who is likely to play a role in shaping the country in the coming years, Phyoe Phyoe Aung is the co-founder of the Wings Institute for Reconciliation, an organization that facilitates exchanges between youth of different ethnic and religious groups. Her work promotes peacebuilding and reconciliation and enables a vital dialogue on federalism and transitional justice. She organized a 2015 protest march from Mandalay to Yangon that was violently suppressed by the Myanmar Police Force as it neared Yangon, and she and her husband were arrested and imprisoned. Phyoe Phyoe was released in April 2016 after 13 months as part of a broad pardon of political prisoners facing court trials. See also:… […]

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