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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

Winners of the 2013 Alison Des Forges Award Named – AUGUST 28, 2013

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Four courageous and tireless advocates for human rights have been selected as 2013 recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said today.

Hassan al-Amin from Libya, Alina Diaz from the United States, Jacqueline Moudeina from Chad, and Natalia Taubina from Russia are leading voices for justice in their countries, working relentlessly to protect the rights and dignity of others. They will join two past international recipients of the award as they are honored at the Human Rights Watch “Voices for Justice” annual dinners in 12 cities worldwide in November 2013 and another nine in March/April 2014.

Hassan al-Amin has worked for three decades to expose human rights violations and promote democracy in Libya. After Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces arrested and beat him in 1983, al-Amin fled to the United Kingdom, where he founded the independent website Libya al-Mostakbal and became one of Libya’s most active dissidents in exile. In 2011, during the uprising against Gaddafi, al-Amin returned to his native Misrata, then under siege, to document human rights abuses. After Gaddafi’s fall he was elected to the transitional parliament. As chairman of the Human Rights and Civil Society Committee he investigated arbitrary arrests and the torture of prisoners, and criticized powerful anti-Gaddafi militias that refused to disarm. In March 2013, facing death threats from militias, al-Amin gave up his seat and returned to London, where he has resumed publication of Libya al-Mostakbal. Human Rights Watch honors al-Amin for his commitment to exposing abuses and protecting human rights in Libya.

“These human rights defenders speak out on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, often in dangerous and difficult circumstances,” 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 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 on February 12, 2009. Des Forges was the world’s leading expert on Rwanda, the 1994 genocide, and its aftermath. The Human Rights Watch 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.

Source: Human Rights Watch

Categories: Libya, News, Press

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