Posts Tagged ‘Alison Des Forges’

“Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong” – revealing piece by Alex de Waal

June 10, 2016

Alex de Waal {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_de_Waal} published on 6 June 2016 a long piece entitled “Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong” in the Boston Review. There is no way I can give you a summary but reading the whole article is certain worth the time. It is bound to be controversial – especially within the international human rights movement – and stands out by being critical and mostly self-critical about the role of human rights monitors. The focus of the narrative is on Africa (Sudan, Rwanda) and genocide but the former HRW staff reaches out to the general questions of context and impartiality that human rights defenders struggle with, still today.  READ IT!

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4 Human Rights Defenders receiving the Alison des Forges Award 2015

August 11, 2015

2015 Alison Des Forges Award Honorees

2015 Alison Des Forges Award Honorees. Top: Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Yara Bader (Syria), Father Bernard Kinvi (CAR – 2014 winner). Bottom: Nicholas Opiyo (Uganda), Nisha Ayub (Malaysia), Dr. M.R. Rajagopal (India – 2014 winner). © Jahangir Yusif, Francesca Leonardi (Internazionale), 2014 Human Rights Watch, 2015 Rebecca Vassie, 2015 Nisha Ayub, Paramount Color Lab, Ulloor, Trivandrum

Human Rights Watch just announced that its Alison Des Forges Award winners 2015 come from Uganda, Syria, Malaysia and Azerbaijan:

Nisha Ayub, Malaysia
For over a decade, Nisha Ayub has championed the rights of transgender people in Malaysia through support services, legal and policy analysis, and public outreach. Human Rights Watch honors Nisha Ayub for challenging the discriminatory laws that prevent transgender people in Malaysia from living free of violence, fear, and oppression.

Yara Bader, Syria
Yara Bader, a journalist and human rights activist, works to expose the detention and torture of activists – including her husband, Mazen Darwish recently released – in war-torn Syria. She has experienced first-hand how the Syrian government uses its security and intelligence agencies to brutally crack down on independent voices. Human Rights Watch honors Yara Bader for her tremendous courage in speaking out on behalf of Syrian detainees despite grave risks to her safety.

Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijan 
Khadija Ismayilova, a prominent investigative journalist in Azerbaijan, has dedicated her life to the fight against corruption, for human rights, and for freedom for political prisoners in a country under increasingly harsh authoritarian rule. Human Rights Watch honors Khadija Ismayilova for her extraordinary courage as a journalist and human rights activist in the face of an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. She is currently behind bars. see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/khadija-ismayilova-azerbaijan-is-not-deterred/

Nicholas Opiyo, Uganda
Nicholas Opiyo is a leading human rights lawyer and founder of Chapter Four Uganda, a human rights organization. He has successfully argued several high-level constitutional challenges, including to the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2013, which was declared null and void in August 2014. Human Rights Watch honors Nicholas Opiyo for his unfaltering dedication to upholding the human rights of all Ugandans by promoting universal access to justice.

 

The award is named for Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser at Human Rights Watch for almost two decades, who died in a plane crash in New York State on February 12, 2009. For more on the award, see: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/alison-des-forges-award-extraordinary-activism. See also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/events-in-memory-of-alison-des-forges-at-buffalo-university/

The four 2015 honorees will be honored at the Voices for Justice Human Rights Watch Annual Dinners held in more than 20 cities worldwide in November 2015 and March-April 2016. Also two 2014 recipients of the award, Father Bernard Kinvi from the Central African Republic and Dr. M.R. Rajagopal from India will included in this series of events:

 

Father Bernard Kinvi, Central African Republic
Father Bernard Kinvi is a Catholic priest who directs the hospital at the Catholic mission in Bossemptele, Central African Republic. In early 2014, when sectarian violence devolved into coordinated violence targeting Muslim civilians, Kinvi saved the lives of hundreds of besieged Muslims, whom he gathered from their homes and sheltered in the Catholic church. Despite repeated death threats, Kinvi persisted in protecting those in his charge until they could be taken to safety. Human Rights Watch honors Father Bernard Kinvi for his unwavering courage and dedication to protecting civilians in the Central African Republic.

Dr. M. R. Rajagopal, India
Dr. M. R. Rajagopal is a leading palliative care physician from India who, for more than 20 years, has battled conditions that cause patients to suffer severe pain unnecessarily. As clinician, academic, and activist, Rajagopal is a global force behind efforts to promote and put into practice palliative care as a human right. He built the world’s most successful community-based palliative care program, and he and his organization, Pallium India, played a key role in convincing India’s government to make morphine accessible. Human Rights Watch honors Dr. M. R. Rajagopal for his efforts to defend the right of patients with severe pain to live and die with dignity.

Rights Activists Honored | Human Rights Watch.

Events in memory of Alison Des Forges at Buffalo University

April 19, 2015

Alison Des Forges (1942-2009) was a well-known human rights defender and one of the world’s leading experts on the Rwandan genocide. She was senior adviser of Human Rights Watch at the time of her death in the crash of Continental flight 3407. HRW named its human rights award after her [see: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/alison-des-forges-award-extraordinary-activism]. Now the Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Committee in her native Buffalo (NY) is organizing three events in Buffalo on 23 and 24 April 2015 with as focus “Islam, Islamism, and Human Rights in Africa”:
  • An international symposium on April 23 featuring talks by university researchers and representatives of human rights organizations working in Africa. This event is free and open to the public.
  • A scholarship dinner and discussion on April 23. [reservation is required, and tickets are $100 per person. Proceeds go to the Alison Des Forges Memorial Scholarships]
  • A community roundtable on April 24, where university researchers will reflect on the previous day’s symposium topics: “The Interplay of Politics, Religion, Terrorism, Modernity and Human Rights”.

In an effort to address issues of intense public concern, these events will explore in depth the recent rise of violent extremist groups in Africa,” said Dussourd, co-chair of the Alison L. Des Forges Memorial Committee. “In so doing, we will go beyond sensational media headlines to the historical roots of this phenomenon as we examine groups such as Boko Haram, Seleka and Al-Shabaab.”

For information about the events contact Ellen Dussourd  dussourd@buffalo.edu)

Events in memory of Alison Des Forges will focus on Islam and human rights in Africa – University at Buffalo.

Human Rights Defenders from Russia, US, Libya, Chad named for Alison des Forges Award

August 29, 2013

Clockwise: Hassan al-Amin, Consuelo Morales, Natalia Taubina, Jacqueline Moudeïna, Alina Diaz, and Abbé Benoît Kinalegu.

On 28 August Human Rights Watch announced the 2013  recipients of its Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism: Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Watch honors HRDs from Congo, Libya

August 14, 2012

English: Human Rights Watch logo Русский: Лого...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two courageous and tireless advocates for human rights have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. Abbé Benoît Kinalegu from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Salah Marghani from Libya are leading voices for justice in their countries, working relentlessly to protect the rights and dignity of others. They will join four other international recipients of the award as they are honored at the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Dinners in 15 cities worldwide in November 2012.

The award is named for Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division for almost two decades, who died in a plane crash in New York on February 12, 2009. Des Forges was the world’s leading expert on Rwanda, the 1994 genocide, and its aftermath. Human Rights Watch’s annual award honors her outstanding commitment to, and defense of, human rights. It celebrates the valor of people who put their lives on the line to create a world free from abuse, discrimination, and oppression.

“These human rights defenders have spoken out and helped people who needed protection in some of the most dangerous and difficult situations in the world,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “They show that courage and persistence can make a difference even during periods of conflict and violent transition.”

The recipients of Human Rights Watch’s 2012 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism are:

  • Abbé Benoît Kinalegu, a Congolese priest and director of the Dungu-Doruma Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace, who exposes abuses committed by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army and works to rehabilitate its victims; and
  • Salah Marghani, a Libyan human rights activist and lawyer, who has worked to reveal the truth about human rights atrocities under Muammar Gaddafi and abuses still happening.

Recipients of the 2011 award, who will also be touring North America and Europe this year, are:

  • Sihem Bensedrine, a Tunisian journalist and activist who heads the Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring and serves as a spokesperson for the National Council for Liberties in Tunisia, traveling to Amsterdam and Geneva;
  • Anis Hidayah, executive director of Migrant Care, a leading Indonesian organization working to protect the rights of millions of migrant workers, traveling to Oslo and Zurich;
  • Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Research and Development in eastern Zimbabwe and a leading voice against the abuses taking place in the Marange diamond fields, traveling to London, Munich, and Paris; and
  • Consuelo Morales, director of Citizens in Support of Human Rights, based in Monterrey, which brings abuses in Mexico’s “war on drugs” to light, traveling to Chicago, New York and Toronto.

Human Rights Watch staff members work closely with the human rights defenders as part of the organization’s research into some 90 countries around the world. The defenders will be honored at the 2012 Voices for Justice Human Rights Watch Annual Dinners in Amsterdam, Beirut, Chicago, Geneva, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Silicon Valley, Toronto, and Zurich.

Awards for Rights Activists from Congo, Libya | Human Rights Watch.