Nicholas Opiyo Laureate of the 2021 Tulip award

December 7, 2021

Ugandan human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo was awarded the 2021 Human Rights Tulip. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs awards the honour, which is accompanied by a cash prize of 100,000 euros to help the recipient continue or expand their work. For more on this award and its laureates, see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/D749DB0F-1B84-4BE1-938B-0230D4E22144

Opiyo opposed a controversial anti-gay law that included a life sentence for homosexuality. According to the ministry, the human rights defender also played an important role in criminalizing torture in his country. His work often leads to him being accused of criminal violations with no evidence to back up the charges, and he is often closely monitored by security forces. “Human rights activists see the charges against Nicholas as a way to hinder his work as a human rights lawyer. Even in jail, he used his time to talk to prisoners who sought advice,” the ministry stated. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/12/23/ugandan-human-rights-defender-nicholas-opiyo-arrested-like-a-criminal/]

His work has made the LGBTI community in Uganda feel stronger, knowing that there are allies who support them,” said caretaker Foreign Minister Ben Knapen.

Opiyo beat out two other finalists for the prize. Nunca Más and Russian lawyer Mari Davtyan. See: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2021/11/22/the-3-nominees-for-the-2021-tulip-are-known/

Last year the Human Rights Tulip went to Lilit Martirosyan [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/12/11/armenian-lilit-martirosyan-receives-human-rights-tulip-2020/] who said: “Since winning the Human Rights Tulip in 2020 I’ve felt stronger and more protected, knowing that the Dutch government is on my side and that I’m no longer on this journey alone“.

https://nltimes.nl/2021/12/06/ugandan-lawyer-receives-dutch-human-rights-prize

https://chimpreports.com/ugandas-nicholas-opiyo-wins-global-human-rights-award/

One Response to “Nicholas Opiyo Laureate of the 2021 Tulip award”


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