Posts Tagged ‘Ambassador of Conscience Award’

Now also Amnesty International strips Aung San Suu Kyi of her award

November 13, 2018

Myanmar"s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi departs after her speech at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit
Image copyright GETTY IMAGES

On 12 November 2018 Amnesty International announced that it is stripping Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award. [for more on this award see: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/ambassador-of-conscience-award]

The politician and Nobel peace prize winner received the honour in 2009, when she was living under house arrest. The rights group said it was profoundly dismayed at her failure to speak out for the Rohingya minority, some 700,000 of whom have fled a military crackdown. This is the latest honour in a string of awards Ms Suu Kyi, 73, has lost. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/09/03/myanmar-time-for-aung-san-suu-kyi-to-return-at-least-some-of-her-many-human-rights-awards/]

We are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights,” Amnesty’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote in a letter to the Myanmar leader.

One by one, awards, fellowships and even an honorary citizenship have been revoked for a civilian leader who stubbornly denies crimes against humanity have taken place on her watch. [see e.g., https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/22/aung-san-suu-kyi-to-be-stripped-of-freedom-of-edinburgh-award]

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-46179292

Colin Kaepernick receives Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award

April 22, 2018

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Show on December 5, 2017 at Barclays Center in New York City.

USA athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick has been honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018. The award was officially presented at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 21 April 2018, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of AI Netherlands.

“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick. He is an athlete who is now widely recognised for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. [for more on this and other human rights awards see: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/ambassador-of-conscience-award]

[During the 2016 pre-season of the American National Football League, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem, as a respectful way of calling for the country to protect and uphold the rights of all its people. The bold move was a response to the disproportionate numbers of black people being killed by police. It sparked a movement that follows a long tradition of non-violent protests that have made history. While the polarised response to the “take-a-knee” protest has ignited a debate about the right to protest and free speech, Colin Kaepernick has remained focused on highlighting the injustices that moved him to act. His charity, the Colin Kaepernick Foundation, works to fight oppression around the world through education and social activism, including through free “Know Your Rights” camps which educate and empower young people.]

I would like to thank Amnesty International for the Ambassador of Conscience Award. But in truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force. …said Colin Kaepernick. “While taking a knee is a physical display that challenges the merits of who is excluded from the notion of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, the protest is also rooted in a convergence of my moralistic beliefs, and my love for the people.
See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/05/07/ais-ambassador-of-conscience-award-2016-shared-by-angelique-kidjo-and-african-youth-groups/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/colin-kaepernick-ambassador-of-conscience/

https://thinkprogress.org/colin-kaepernick-receives-humanitarian-prize-a1b3ca0460cc/

AI’s Ambassador of Conscience Award 2016 shared by Angelique Kidjo and African youth groups

May 7, 2016

Every year, the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award celebrates individuals and groups who speak out for justice. The 2016, award will be shared between world-renowned musician Angélique Kidjo from Benin and three African youth activist groups: Y’en a marre from Senegal, Le Balai Citoyen from Burkina Faso and LUCHA from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Angélique Kidjo. Credit: Pierre Marie Ziimmerman.Angélique Kidjo. Credit: Pierre Marie Ziimmerman.

Grammy-winning artist Kidjo fled her homeland Benin in the 1980s after being pressured to perform for the country’s repressive regime. In a 40-year-career spawning 12 albums, she has been a prominent campaigner for freedom of expression and for the education of girls in Africa, as well as against female genital mutilation.

LUCHA, DRC. Credit: Private.
LUCHA, DRC. Credit: Private.

Read the rest of this entry »

Malala Yousafzai and Harry Belafonte receive top Amnesty award in Dublin

September 18, 2013

On 17 September 2013 Pakistani education rights activist, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and almost killed by the Taliban, received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience award  in Dublin. “I want to live in a world where free, Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in a name: journalist, blogger, activist and why not Human Rights Ambassador?

January 26, 2013

 

When I saw that William Gomes was named ‘human rights ambassador‘ back in April 2012 my curiosity was piqued and I wondered how on earth I had never heard of him or his appointment. Which country or international organization had  bestowed upon him this official function and title and why? A bit of internet research revealed that it is the Oregon-based news agency Salem-News.com that had given him the grandiose title because “in this rapidly changing world, we believe this newly-created position and program, are large steps in raising our effectiveness as a news agency“.

At first I was a bit annoyed that the well-known title had been appropriated by a journalist but then reflected that we already have quite a few of ‘Goodwill’ Ambassadors and that Amnesty International has a ‘Ambassador of Conscience Award’, so that the charge of inflation hardly stands. Moreover, the definition coined in 1604 by Sir Henry Wotton that “an ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country” does not guarantee better reporting.

What is interesting is that Salem-News.com describes itself “as a tireless band of writers, many of whom constantly explore the stinging issues surrounding human rights violations all over the world. We have long been a voice for the downtrodden, the people who fight for human independence, and resistance movements in the world that battle fascism and state terrorism” and stresses “that human rights reporting is our centerpiece; and in that respect our reporters are all incredible ambassadors for humanity“. William’s qualities and credentials as a “new kind of journalist” are provided in florid detail with his involvement in the Global Independent Media Center, the Italian Asia news agency, and the Asian Human Rights Commission, 

Tim King, News Editor for Salem-News.com, states “We are very excited about the inclusion of this new role for William, he is already seeing progress from his letters to high level officials who are capable of resolving serious issues. There are people in really tough circumstances in need of intervention, this will be an increasingly powerful method in helping draw public attention to the ordeals they face” and he encourage all of us to send a congratulations letter to: williamgomes.org@gmail.com!