Posts Tagged ‘digest of human rights awards’

Black Lives Matter wins Olof Palme prize 2020

February 1, 2021

A woman holds up a placard with the slogan “Black Lives Matter” as people march in Brixton, south London to protest against police brutality in the US after two recent incidents where black men have been shot and killed by police officers. Daniel Leal-Olivas, AFP

AFP reported on 30 January that the international civil rights movement Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation on Friday won Sweden’s Olof Palme human rights prize for 2020.

The foundation was honored for its work promoting “peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence all over the world,” prize organizers said in a statement.

The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 in the United States, has “in a unique way exposed the hardship, pain, and wrath of the African-American minority at not being valued equal to people of a different color,” the statement said.

The movement had its major international breakthrough in the summer of 2020 following several cases of extreme brutality in the US, including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Prize organizers noted that an estimated 20 million people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests in the US alone, and millions more around the world. 

This illustrates that racism and racist violence is not just a problem in American society, but a global problem.”

For more on the Olof Palme Prize see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/60DE9060-BC07-450D-B6B8-5A64C0F6D612

https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/01/30/21/black-lives-matter-wins-swedish-rights-prize

​​Martin Ennals Award Finalists 2021 announced

January 18, 2021

Today 18 January 2021, the Martin Ennals Foundation announced that three outstanding human rights defenders based in authoritarian states are nominated for the 2021 Martin Ennals Award.

In isolated Turkmenistan, Soltan Achilova documents human rights violations and abuses through photojournalism.

Imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, Loujain AlHathloul is a leading advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.

A lawyer, Yu Wensheng defended human rights cases and activists before his conviction and imprisonment in China.

The Finalists distinguish themselves by their bravery and deep commitment to the issues they defend, despite the many attempts to silence them by respective governmental authorities. The 2021 Martin Ennals Award Ceremony will celebrate their courage on 11 February during an online ceremony hosted jointly with the City of Geneva which, as part of its commitment to human rights, has for many years supported the AwardEvery year thousands of human rights defenders are persecuted, harassed, imprisoned, even killed. The Martin Ennals Foundation is honored to celebrate the 2021 Finalists, who have done so much for others and whose stories of adversity are emblematic of the precarity faced by the human rights movement today”, says Isabel de Sola, Director of the Martin Ennals Foundation.

For more on this and similar awards, see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/043F9D13-640A-412C-90E8-99952CA56DCE

Authoritarian states tend to believe that by jailing or censoring human rights defenders, the world will forget about them. During the COVID-pandemic, it seemed like lockdowns would successfully keep people from speaking out. This year’s Finalists are a testament to the fact that nothing could be further from the truth, says Hans Thoolen, Chair of the Jury.

  • In Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most isolated countries, freedom of speech is inexistent and independent journalists work at their own peril. Soltan Achilova (71), a photojournalist, documents the human rights abuses and social issues affecting Turkmen people in their daily lives. Despite the repressive environment and personal hardships, she is one of the very few reporters in the country daring to sign independent articles.
  • In Saudi Arabia, women still face several forms of gender discrimination, so much so, that the Kingdom ranks in the bottom 10 places according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020. Loujain AlHathloul (31) was one of the leading figures of the Women to drive movement and advocated for the end of the male guardianship system. She was imprisoned in 2018 on charges related to national security together with several other women activists. Tortured, denied medical care, and subjected to solitary confinement, Loujain was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in prison on 28 December 2020. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/loujain-al-hathloul/]
  • In China, more than 300 human rights activists and lawyers disappeared or were arrested in 2015 during the so called 709 Crackdown. A successful business lawyer, Yu Wensheng (54) gave up his career to defend one of these detained lawyers, before being arrested himself. Detained for almost three years now, Yu Wensheng’s right hand was crushed in jail and his health is failing. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/06/26/lawyers-key-to-the-rule-of-law-even-china-agrees-but-only-lip-service/]

Online Award Ceremony on 11 February 2021

The 2021 Martin Ennals Award will be given to the three Finalists on 11 February 2021 at an online ceremony co-hosted by the City of Geneva (Switzerland), a long-standing supporter of the Award. “The City of Genevareaffirmsits support to human rights, especially during these times of crisis and upheaval. Human rights are the foundation of our society, not even the pandemic will stop us from celebrating brave persons who have sacrificed so much”, says Member of the executive Alfonso Gomez.

For more information:

Chloé Bitton
Communications Manager
Martin Ennals Foundation
cbitton@martinennalsaward.org
media@martinennalsaward.org
Office: +41.22.809.49.25
Mobile: +41.78.734.68.79

Media focal point for Loujain AlHathloul
Uma Mishra-Newberry
FreeLoujain@gmail.com  
https://www.loujainalhathloul.org
+41.78.335.25.40 (on signal)

Press release

Press release (English)

Press release (French)

Press release (Chinese)

Press release (Russian)

Press release (Arabic)

You can now nominate a candidate for the 2021 Rafto Prize

January 18, 2021

Raftoemblem Test

Criteria

  • A candidate should be active in the struggle for the ideals and principles underlying the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • A candidate’s struggle for human rights should represent a non-violent perspective.
  • A candidate may be a person or an organization, and two or more candidates may share the prize.

Anyone with an interest in and knowledge about human rights is welcome to nominate candidates. Candidates nominated by themselves or by their staff or by honorary officers will not be taken into consideration.

How do I nominate?

Fill in the form below by clicking the blue “make a nomination”-button and attach required documents.

Deadline for nominations: 1 February.
Nominations received after 1 February will be taken into consideration for the Rafto Prize the following year.

Each year we announce the recipient of the Rafto Prize in the end of September at a press conference at the Rafto House in Bergen. The announcement is live streamed on our website and on Facebook.

For more on this and similar awards see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/A5043D5E-68F5-43DF-B84D-C9EF21976B18

For questions regarding nominations, please contact the Secretary of the Committee, Sunniva Ingholm, e-mail: sunniva.ingholm@rafto.no

For last year’s winner see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/09/25/rafto-prize-for-2020-goes-to-the-egyptian-commission-for-rights-and-freedoms-ecrf/

Nominate a candidate

3 Women human rights defenders shortlisted for Václav Havel human rights award

January 11, 2021

Vaclav Havel banner above National Museum Prague, VitVit via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
Vaclav Havel banner above National Museum Prague, VitVit via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

This year’s Václav Havel Human Rights Award has shortlisted three female finalists, The panel nominated Saudi women’s rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul, a group of young Buddhist nuns from a monastery in Nepal and Julienne Lusenge, who documents cases of wartime sexual violence in the Congo.

The winner will be announced at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on April 19. For more on this award see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/7A8B4A4A-0521-AA58-2BF0-DD1B71A25C8D.

Al-Hathloul heads the opposition to the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. She has been imprisoned since 2018. [see https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/12/29/loujain-al-hathloul-sentenced-to-over-5-years-prison-by-saudi-terror-court/]

The nuns from the monastery called Amitabha Drukpa constitute a group who promotes gender equality, environmental sustainability, and intercultural tolerance in the Himalayan villages. They gained fame by transporting material help to outlying villages after an earthquake near Kathmandu in 2015. They also teach women’s self-defense and they have biked over 20,000 kilometers in protest against trading in women and girls.

Lusenge is a human rights activist who documents cases of sexual abuse and violence against women in Congo. She has contributed to the conviction of hundreds of perpetrators of acts of sexual violence against women nationwide. She was often threatened for her work.

Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library, said: “Last year, we dedicated the autumn Prague conference, which usually takes place on the occasion of the Václav Havel Prize, to women’s rights. We are glad that the jury followed a similar point.”.

https://www.expats.cz/czech-news/article/vaclav-havel-human-rights-prize-to-celebrate-international-female-activists

Emilio Mignone prize 2020 to Haitian NGO

December 14, 2020

The Argentinian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday 9 December delivered the 2020 edition of the Emilio Mignone International Human Rights Prize to Haiti’s Devoir de Mémoire foundation in a virtual ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Founded in 2013, this foundation has pioneered the publication of historic testimony of previous human rights violations in the Caribbean island republic. The prize, awarded since 2007 in recognition of outstanding work abroad to defend human rights, is named after the late Professor Emilio Fermín Mignone, lawyer and founder of CELS (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales) human rights organisation. See: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/51115C74-AFA5-4D19-BDC1-E31917D770C4

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/12/06/bringbackourgirls-gets-argentinian-emilio-mignone-award/

https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/5th-december-12th-december-what-we-learned-this-week.phtml

https://www.devoirdememoire.ht/

University of Oslo Human Rights Award 2020 goes to the Congolese agronomist Marcelline Budza.

December 14, 2020

Using coffee to secure women´s rights

The University of Oslo Human Rights Award 2020 [see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest] goes to the Congolese agronomist Marcelline Budza. Mrs. Budza is awarded the prize for her work in securing women’s financial rights and increasing their participation in society through the coffee cooperative Rebuild Women’s Hope.

Rebuild Women’s Hope (RWH) is an initiative that ensures financial independence and security for women in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The women receive training and the opportunity to become financially self-reliant coffee producers.

– In addition to enabling women to take control of their own lives, Mrs. Budza works to provide clean water and health services. We know this is crucial for both women’s and children’s health, and her commitment creates enormous positive ripple effects, said Stølen.

Marcelline is a trained agronomist, and she herself experienced how her mother as a single parent had to struggle to ensure necessary livelihood for the family.

Armenian Lilit Martirosyan receives Human Rights Tulip 2020

December 11, 2020

On Human rights Day 10 December 2020 the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok presented the Tulip award during an online ceremony to Lilit Martirosyan.

Lilit Martirosyan

For more on this and similar awards see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/D749DB0F-1B84-4BE1-938B-0230D4E22144

Minister Blok tijdens de uitreiking van de Mensenrechtentulp

‘This year,’ said Mr Blok, ‘the three candidates shortlisted for the Human Rights Tulip 2020 were an indigenous women’s rights advocate from Guatemala [on behalf of a network of female healers], a doctor from Sudan [on behalf of an association of trade unions] and a transgender woman from Armenia. They all share a common dedication to promoting human dignity and equality, and work to defend other people’s fundamental rights. They have demonstrated the true meaning of hope, and shown that human rights are for everyone. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from or how much money you have. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/10/15/final-three-nominees-human-rights-tulip-2020/]

Lilit Martirosyan is Armenia’s first registered transgender woman. As founder and current president of the Right Side human rights defender NGO, she works fearlessly for equal rights for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. ‘Lilit has never given up on the peaceful path towards change,’ said Mr Blok, ‘even after receiving death threats. Throughout everything she has remained hopeful and has stood up to defend what she believes in. Hopefully this prize will help her continue to make meaningful strides in her human rights work.’

Thanks to the peaceful activities of Lilit and Right Side, there is now a community centre that serves as a home and safe place for the LGBTI community and sex workers in Armenia. They receive legal and social-psychological support, and if they want to change their name in their passport they can do so without undergoing gender reassignment. The Dutch government recognises Lilit Martirosyan for her constant leadership in demanding attention and respect for transgender people and sex workers in Armenia. Her nomination has also drawn attention to the plight of transgender people and sex workers throughout the region.

https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs/news/2020/12/10/lilit-martirosyan-receives-human-rights-tulip-2020

John Legend Receives High Note Global Prize 2020 from UN

December 11, 2020

John Legend has become the 2020 winner of the High Note human rights prize. For more on this award see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/748829a0-11fb-11ea-a6e6-0b8b95100eab.

For first one see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/11/28/first-high-note-global-prize-goes-to-cyndi-lauper-for-her-work-with-lgbtq-youth/

I believe in the power of music to inspire us, to connect our hearts, to give voice to feelings for which words alone won’t suffice, to wake us up out of complacency, to galvanize and fuel social movements,” the singer said upon accepting his award. “Artists have a rich tradition of activism. We have a unique opportunity to reach people where they are, beyond political divisions, borders, and silos. And it’s been my privilege to use my voice and my platform to advance the cause of equity and justice.” See: <a href="http://<iframe src="//content.jwplatform.com/players/Ge9Alkkq-zFOPDjEV.html" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" scrolling="auto">//content.jwplatform.com/players/Ge9Alkkq-zFOPDjEV.html

Over his 20-year career, Legend has been closely involved with a variety of causes. In 2007, he started the Show Me Campaign to improve access to education, while the Bail Project has advocated for ending mass incarceration and making it easier for released prisoners to find work by removing criminal background checks from job applications. In his High Note Global Prize speech, he touched on his most recent campaign, #FreeAmerica, which is aimed at broad criminal justice reform.

He went on to highlight his most recent campaign, #FreeAmerica, which works toward criminal justice reform. “As a citizen of the United States, and of the world, I know that for far too long our most essential systems have served to perpetuate inequity and injustice,” he shared. “In order for us to create a just world those systems need to change.”

With this award we celebrate a multitude of advocates, generations of movement leaders who have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress,” he concluded. “I don’t stand here absorbing these accolades for myself. I stand here grateful for their ideas and their energy and honored that I can amplify their voices by using my platform.”

https://latestnewspost.com/news/entertainment/tv-shows/john-legend-receives-united-nations-human-rights-high-note-global-prize/

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/john-legend-united-nations-human-rights-high-note-global-prize-1101344/

Albert Ho wins Baldwin Medal 2020

December 10, 2020

Human Rights First announced today that it will award the 2020 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty to Hong Kong human rights defender Albert Ho. The award will be presented today 10 December in a virtual event that will include a conversation between Ho and Human Rights First Senior Advisor Brian Dooley.

Albert Ho is a veteran Hong Kong lawyer and advocate whose career in human rights and political activism stretches back almost four decades. A leading figure in the pro-democracy movement for many years, he remains prominent in the protest movement that energized Hong Kong in 2019 and 2020.

No dictatorship is too big or too strong to take on,” said Vladimir Vladimir Kara-Murza, Senior Advisor for Human Rights Accountability at Human Rights First and 2020 Baldwin Award jury member. “This decision shows who is right and wrong, and Albert Ho is in the right. There are no lost causes, and the cause of democracy in China is not lost.

Ho is now facing a dozen charges related to those peaceful protests and his law firm continues to represent many others who have protest-related charges.

I’m honored to accept this award,” said Ho, “but I do it on behalf of many colleagues who have shared the case of human rights in Hong Kong with me for so many years.”

Ho is the co-founder and senior partner of Ho, Tse, Wai and Partners (HTW), a Hong Kong law firm renown for advocacy on landmark human rights cases.  Ho and HTW have represented many arrested pro-democracy protestors and challenged many of the Hong Kong government’s dubious actions, such as the banning of face masks under a colonial-era law and the disqualification of numerous pro-democracy lawmakers.

Ho has also done extensive advocacy for human rights lawyers in mainland China. He founded the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group in 2007 to provide humanitarian assistance to detained human rights lawyers and their families, advocate on behalf of detained lawyers, and share knowledge and experience with Chinese lawyers.

Despite surveillance and threats by Chinese authorities, Ho has maintained his steadfast support for his peers in mainland China in the face of the government’s crackdown on human rights lawyers, the “709 crackdown” known for the day it began – July 9, 2015. Placing the pursuit of justice before his own safety, Ho continues to raise awareness of the plight of human rights lawyers in China to see that the world holds the Chinese Communist Party accountable for human rights abuses.

For more on the Baldwin Medal of Liberty see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/F23B5465-6A15-4463-9A91-14B2977D9FCE.

https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/press-release/human-rights-first-honors-hong-kong-human-rights-defender-albert-ho-baldwin-medal

2020 Award of European Bars Associations (CCBE) goes to seven Egyptian lawyers who are in prison.

November 29, 2020

CCBE awards 2020 prize to Egyptian lawyers Ebru Timtik

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) has granted its 2020 Human Rights Award to seven Egyptian lawyers who are currently in prison.

The body, which represents the Bars and Law Societies of 45 countries, has also given an exceptional posthumous award to Turkish lawyer Ebru Timtik (pictured), who died in August 2020.

For more on this and other awards for lawyers see: https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/award/A3C73F81-6FCB-4DDD-9356-61C422713949

The seven Egyptian lawyers are:

  • Haytham Mohammadein, a human rights lawyer and labour activist,
  • Hoda Abdelmoniem, former member of the National Council for Human Rights, spokesperson for the Revolutionary Coalition of Egyptian Women and consultant for the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF),
  • Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, a lawyer, member of the ECRF and co-founder of the Egyptian Association of Families of the Disappeared (EAFD),
  • Mahienour El-Massry, who is often described as a voice of the revolution and is active in the defence of women’s rights and many other citizen’s rights,
  • Mohamed El-Baqer, director of Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms, 
  • Mohamed Ramadan, a lawyer whose work involves legally representing human rights defenders,
  • Zyad El-Eleimy, a lawyer and a former parliamentarian in Egypt.
  • See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2014/06/24/egypt-extended-detention-of-human-rights-defenders-protesting-the-protests-law/

Ebru Timtik was a distinguished Turkish lawyer belonging to the Progressive Lawyers Association and the People’s Law Office.

See: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/09/26/timtik-sisters-in-turkey-share-2020-ludovic-trarieux-prize/

The virtual Award ceremony will be held during the CCBE Plenary Session today (27 November).

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/ccbe-awards-2020-prize-to-egyptian-lawyers/