Posts Tagged ‘Malala Yousafzai’

Malala Yousafzai, a lot more awards than the UN thinks

January 13, 2020

On 27 Pakistani human rights defender Malala Yousafzai has been declared as “the most famous teenager in the world” by the United Nations in the ‘Decade in Review‘ report of the UN. In recognition of her efforts for children’s rights which started before she was shot in the head by Taliban militants, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. According to the UN review reportThe attack made waves around the world and was widely condemned. On Human Rights Day that year, a special tribute to Malala was held at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, pushing for action to ensure every girl’s right to go to school, and to advance girls’ education as an urgent priority,”.

Malala’s activism and profile have only grown since the assassination attempt. She won several high-profile awards, including the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize (alongside Indian social reformer Kailash Satyarthi), and became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2017, with a special focus on girls’ education,” the report added. Recently the 22-year-old was also chosen by Teen Vogue as its cover person for its last issue of the decade.

Just to make sure the record is correct, Malala has in fact received at least the following 10 awards:

2013   Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

2013   Index on Censorship Awards

2013   Simone de Beauvoir Prize

2013   Tipperary Peace Prize

2013   Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

2013   Ambassador of Conscience Award

2013   Anna Politkovskaya Award

2014   Franklin Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award

2014   Nobel Peace Prize

2014   Liberty Medal

https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/12/1053481

 

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai declared as “the most famous teenager in the world”: UN

The pen mightier than the sword: award courageous writers

November 19, 2019

On 18 November 2019 Emma Frost wrote in the Boar a piece extolling writing as an act of courage. She refers to courageous laureates and concludes that “unfortunately, the need for such awards merely confirms the continual existence of persecution, state-sponsored violence and oppression in our world”. THF’s digest lists more than 40 international awards under the theme freedom of expression: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest.

Befeqadu Hailu is an Ethiopian writer, blogger, and human rights activist who recently was awarded the 2019 PEN Pinter Prize for International Writer of Courage. Before achieving this prestigious title, Befeqadu had been imprisoned, brutalised, dehumanised and labelled a ‘terrorist’ by his own government for exercising what should be a basic human right: freedom of speech. …However, Befeqadu isn’t the only writer who has faced such injustice. Instead, he is one of thousands of courageous individuals who dare to speak and write about the truth of their society, and who are consequently punished for doing so. Many readers will recognise the story of Malala Yousafzai, a girl from Pakistan who was almost assassinated by the Taliban in 2012 for her blog posts to BBC Urdu about life under the terrorist organisation and her campaigning for female education. She was only 15 years old when she took that famous bullet to her head.

Female author Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in 1982 in Iran for campaigning for civil and female rights. She used her time in prison as an inspiration for her novel The Secret Letters From X To A, a beautifully written book that ponders the responsibility of publishing an individual’s truth in the face of personal danger for doing so. More recently, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in 2017,as a consequence for her dedication to exposing the corruption of Maltese politicians through her blog, ‘Running Commentary’.

These examples are testaments to the importance of writing. Without the written records of their struggle and their defiance, the the courage of brave individuals would remain unheard and we would remain in ignorance of their plight. In a world where it is safer not to write about injustice, writers make a valiant choice every day to speak out, knowing the risk of exile, imprisonment, or even death. The former 2015 PEN Pinter award winner Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger for his website ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ and activist for greater human rights in Saudi Arabia, is currently imprisoned to this very day and his exact whereabouts are unknown.

The significance of awards such as the PEN Pinter Prize for International Writer of Courage cannot be exaggerated. They validate the heroic and life-threatening efforts by writers to create a better world and convey to those who are imprisoned for their literature that they are seen, they are heard, and that they won’t be abandoned. The Civil Courage Prize is another such human rights award that recognises “steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk”. This award was inspired by the story of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose book The Gulag Archipelago exposed the true horrors of the Russian gulag system through the use of interviews, diaries, legal documents and his own experience as a gulag prisoner.

Unfortunately, the need for such awards merely confirms the continual existence of persecution, state-sponsored violence and oppression in our world. It signifies that human rights organisations such as Amnesty International have a long way to go in achieving freedom for everyone. In spite of this, I have hope that these brave individuals won’t give up and will continue to write for the sake of a better humanity. All of this reaffirms my steadfast belief that the pen truly is mightier than the sword, and that writing is the most important political tool of our century.

Writing as an act of courage

Asma Jahangir, one of the world’s most outstanding human rights defenders, dies at age 66

February 11, 2018

 

 

 

Prominent Pakistani human rights defender and lawyer Asma Jahangir has died at the age of 66. She reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to hospital, where she later died.

She was one of the most recognized and honored human rights defenders with over 17 human rights awards, including the Martin Ennals Award in 1995, whose film on her work shows a much younger Asma, fearless in spite of threats on her life:

I met her for the first time in 1993 at the 2nd World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, where she deeply impressed me by standing up and openly criticizing her fellow NGO representatives for having tried to prevent former President Jimmy Carte from speaking at the NGO forum. This principled stand was a hallmark of her life as Pakistani human rights lawyer and as UN Special Rapporteur. In many instances she was able to give sound advice on cases of other human rights defenders in difficulty. For earlier posts on Asma see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/asma-jahangir/

Asma Jahangir’s career in short:

  • Trained as a lawyer and worked in Pakistan’s Supreme Court from age 30
  • A critic of the military establishment
  • Jailed in 1983 for pro-democracy activities
  • Put under house arrest in 2007 for opposing military leader’s removal of Supreme Court chief justice
  • Co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and of the first free legal aid centre in Pakistan (together with her sister Hina Jilani)
  • Co-founder of the Women’s Action Forum, set up to oppose law that reduced a woman’s testimony in court to half that of a man’s
  • The first female leader of Pakistan’s Supreme Court bar association
  • Winner of 17 human rights awards and the French Legion of Honour
  • Served twice as UN special rapporteur: on freedom of religion and on later on Human Rights in Iran

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai called Ms Jahangir a “saviour of democracy and human rights”.

A prominent Pakistani lawyer, Salman Akram Raja, tweeted that Ms Jahangir was “the bravest human being I ever knew” and that the world was “less” without her.

A long interview with Asma you can find here: https://asiasociety.org/interview-asma-jahangir,

A 2017 interview can be found on the website of the RLA: https://vimeo.com/225966475

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https://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21736994-pakistans-loudest-voice-democracy-and-human-rights-was-66-obituary-asma-jahangir-died

10 women human rights defenders in cartoon images

March 23, 2017

10 December is obviously International Human Rights Day, but there are several countries that have a different or additional Human Rights Day of their own. One of them is South Africa where 21 March is historically linked with 21 March 1960 and the events of Sharpeville (on that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass laws – https://www.parliament.gov.za/project-event-details/2)

Boipelo Mokgothu in Traveller24 used the occasion on 20 March 2017 to publish  a compilation of the 10 most inspirational women from historical figures till today:

Read the rest of this entry »

Kurdish Yazidi Woman Wins Anna Politkovskaya Award

October 11, 2014

More on awards: The winner of the 2014 Raw in War Anna Politkovskaya award is Kurdish Yazidi member of Iraq parliament Vian Dakhil .On Monday 6 October, RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) selected Vian Dakhil who has courageously spoken out and campaigned to protect the Yazidi people from the terror of Islamic State. She is the only ethnic Yazidi in the Iraqi Parliament and, despite being injured in a helicopter crash while delivering aid to survivors on Mt Sinjar, she continues to advocate and to mobilize support for her people, for the refugees and for those trapped in towns and villages under the regime of Islamic State. “I make no secret of the fact that I’m proud to be honored with your esteemed award, but the real way to honor someone is by protecting their freedom and rights. It is by bringing our prisoners back,’ said Dakhil in her speech while receiving the award.

Previous women human rights defenders who received this award: Malala Yousafzai 2013, Marie Colvin 2012, Razan Zaitouneh 2011, Dr. Halima Bashir 2010, Leila Alikarami on behalf of the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality in Iran 2009, Malalai Joya 2008 and Natalia Estemirova 2007. See also: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards

via Kurdish Yazidi Woman Wins International Award | BAS NEWS.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi share Nobel Peace Prize

October 11, 2014

You will have learned this already from the main news media, but to bee complete in the area of human rights awards: On Friday 10 October the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded to India‘s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan‘s Malala Yousafzai for their struggles against the violations of the rights of children. As the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, “Children must go to school, not be financially exploited.

Photos: Nobel Peace Prize winners

Malala Yousafzai came to global attention after she was shot in the head by the Taliban — two years ago Thursday — for her efforts to promote education for girls in Pakistan. Since then, after surgery, she has won several high level human rights awards and now the Peace Prize. [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/malala-collects-another-award-sacharov-instead-of-snowden/]

Satyarthi, age 60, has shown great personal courage in heading peaceful demonstrations focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain, the committee said. Satyarthi told reporters that the award was about many more people than him — and that credit should go to all those “sacrificing their time and their lives for the cause of child rights” and fighting child slavery.

The peace aspect of the Prize is double this year: Read the rest of this entry »

Winners of 2013 United Nations human rights prizes announced today

December 5, 2013

On 5 December 2013 the six winners announced of the UN Human Rights Prize were announced: Biram Dah Abeid of Mauritania, a son of freed slaves who works to eradicate the heinous practice; Hiljmnijeta Apuk of Kosovo, a campaigner for the rights of people with disproportional restricted growth short stature; Liisa Kauppinen of Finland, President emeritus of the World Federation of the Deaf; Khadija Ryadi, Former President of the Morocco Association for Human Rights; Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice the Constitutional Court; and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes and is now a renowned education activist. The award ceremony will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2013, as part of the annual commemoration of Human Rights Day [The Prize, which is bestowed every five years, is an honorary award given to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights.]

via United Nations News Centre – Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai among winners of 2013 UN human rights prize.

Peace comes dropping slow says The Economist in relation to Malala being passed over for Nobel Prize

October 14, 2013

The Economist of this week (11 October) carries an interesting piece on peace under the title “Peace comes dropping slow”. It argues that MALALA YOUSAFZAI would have been an appropriate recipient of the Nobel peace prize, but that her admirers should be not be too disappointed that the award went instead to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. For the Western world, and indeed for many of her fellow Muslims, Malala is an extraordinary example of disinterested courage in the face of theocrats who practise tyranny by claiming a monopoly on religion and religious law. She was already famous at the age of 11 as the writer of a blog for the BBC Urdu service, giving an impression of life under the rule of the Taliban in her native Swat Valley.
She has been showered with accolades, as this blog has also shown including last week the European Union’s Sakharov prize. However, the Economist piece says that “people who really wish Malala and her cause well should be more relieved than let down. The Nobel Prize has not always brought blessings to its recipients. Mistakes made by Barack Obama as America’s commander-in-chief will be judged even more harshly because he was granted the award in 2009 as a kind of down-payment before his presidency had really got going. Mikhail Gorbachev will probably go down in history as a peace-maker, but the award (in 1990) did nothing to enhance his domestic standing which was in freefall at the time. And whatever history has to say about Henry Kissinger and North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho, garlanded in 1973, it will hardly describe them as doves of peace“[De Klerk and Arafat are not mentioned!]
In Northern Ireland, the article states the peace prize had in some respects a “kiss of death” [mentioning David Trimble, John Hume, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire] ….”Does 16-year-old Malala really need that? She too comes from a part of the world where international accolades can cause jealousy and cynicism as well as admiration. So she may be better off without the big prize. In any case, Malala will continue to pile up various honours and distinctions; and as with Ms Maguire, there is probably a good chance that she will use her fame to say things that disturb and provoke people, even those who are lining up to admire her.

The Nobel peace prize: Peace comes dropping slow | The Economist.

Malala collects another award: Sacharov; instead of Snowden

October 10, 2013

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(Malala Yousafzai during ceremony for the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award 2013 – (c) AFP/Peter Muhly)

On 5 October I reported that Malala got the RAW award – after receiving quite a few others (as seen above in the picture). Since yesterday she is also laureate of the European Parliament’s  Sacharov award, beating Edward Snowden and dissidents from Belarus. In the meantime the rumors are that she also gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala Receives another award: the RAW – Anna Politkovskaya Award

October 5, 2013

Malala Yousafzai has been declared the winner of an award for female defenders of human rights in war and conflict. The 16-year-old from Pakistan was due to accept the 2013 RAW in WAR Reach All Women in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award at a London-based ceremony on 4 October. The award is named after Politkovskaya, a Russian human rights journalist and outspoken government critic, who was murdered in October 2006 – and whose assassin has still not been brought to justice. Named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in April 2013, Malala began blogging for the BBC in 2009 about her life in Pakistan’s Swat Valley region and her desire to attend school freely and safely, reported the BBC. Her increasingly public profile led to her being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman on her way home from school in October last year. She was then flown to the U.K. for treatment and currently lives in Birmingham, where she continues to campaign for education for girls and boys.

via Malala Yousafzai Receives Women’s Human Rights Award | TIME.com.