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Martin Ennals Award honours three inspirational human rights figures

The Martin Ennals Award 2022 edition will celebrate three inspiring personalities from the human rights movement at the Plainpalais Community Hall on 2 June 2022. In the presence of the 2022 laureates and/or their representatives, the event will be both open to the public and live-streamed.

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Les lauréats du prix Martin Ennals sur scène lors de la cérémonie

Since 1994, the Martin Ennals Award has provided annual recognition and protection for human rights defenders who fight for freedom, justice and equality and against impunity in their communities and countries, often at great personal risk.

Made up of ten leading human rights organisations, the jury this year nominated three outstanding activists, whose indefatigable struggles are a source of inspiration in their communities and internationally:

A pharmacist by training, Dr Daouda Diallo campaigns for human rights in Burkina Faso, a country weakened by repeated coups, the latest of which occurred on 23 January this year. He tirelessly documents the human rights abuses committed in the violent clashes between government forces, local paramilitary groups and Islamist factions. An outspoken advocate for justice for victims of violence and their families and a leader in the fight against impunity, Dr Diallo is repeatedly subjected to harassment, robbery and death threats. Despite this, he remains committed and calls for social cohesion and a lasting peace in his country, aiming at reconciling the varying ethnic and religious groups. 

Pham Doan Trang is a leading journalist and advocate for democracy in Vietnam, where the Communist Party’s one-party rule leaves no room for voices of criticism and opposition factions. She has run several independent media outlets and written numerous books in a bid to raise awareness of the human rights of Vietnamese citizens. Arrested in October 2020, she was sentenced in December 2021 to nine years in prison for “conducting propaganda against the state”. She is currently awaiting her appeal hearing. There are growing concerns about her health. 

A cornerstone of the human rights movement in Bahrain, Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja took a leading role in the “Arab Spring” uprisings of 2011. He called for greater accountability from government authorities, the rights of prisoners of conscience and more democracy and freedoms, before he was violently arrested in April of that year. Severely beaten and tortured, two months later a military tribunal sentenced him to life imprisonment. After eleven years behind bars, there are urgent concerns about his health, which requires prompt intervention. 

Award ceremony in person and online on 2 June 2022

On 2 June 2022, the Martin Ennals Foundation, its jury and the City of Geneva will welcome Dr Daouda Diallo and the representatives and families of Pham Doan Trang and Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja, the two laureates still in detention in their respective countries. This must-attend event, either in person or online, will also witness a surprise tribute to a renowned activist. 

“After two virtual editions of the Award, we are delighted to welcome audiences back to the Plainpalais Community Hall! The ceremony will feature the testimonies of the laureates or their representatives, the presence of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and a surprise tribute to an activist from India who left us too soon. Everyone is welcome,” says Isabel de Sola, Director of the Martin Ennals Foundation.

“We in Geneva are honoured to once again welcome and celebrate the laureates, their loved ones and their representatives and to give them recognition and visibility in their noble struggle. We are proud to perpetuate the human and humanitarian values that forge the City’s identity through the Martin Ennals Award” – concludes Alfonso Gomez, Member of the Executive of the City of Geneva. 

The event is co-organised by the City of Geneva which, faithful to its commitment to human rights, has supported the Award for many years. The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders is the fruit of a unique collaboration between ten of the world’s leading human rights organisations, namely:

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Article modifié le 03.06.2022 à 15:51