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Egyptian Human Rights Defender Wins Martin Ennals Award

Egyptian Human Rights Defender Wins Martin Ennals Award

Egypt Country Director for the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) Mohamed Zaree won the 2017 Martin Ennals Award, a prize which draws attention to human rights defenders who put themselves at risk to defend others’ rights.

“The Award is given to Human Rights Defenders who have shown deep commitment to human rights and face great personal risk. The aim of the award is to provide protection through international recognition,” said an official Martin Ennals statement. Strongly supported by the City of Geneva, the Award is to be presented by the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday at the University of Geneva.

 

 Zaree is responsible for CIHRS’s legal research, media outreach and national advocacy. CIHRS’s work was influential in the Arab world particularly Egypt, which resulted in death threats to its director. This forced the CIHRS executive director and regional staff to move abroad to continue their work. Zaree chose to stay and is now banned from travel. He is a legal scholar coordinating research to challenge laws designed to limit NGOs activities working on human rights, such as freedom of expression and assembly.

The Martin Ennals Laureate receives a minimum of 20,000 CHF.

“The money would be poured into further human rights causes, for those who defend the right to form NGOs, for researches into the matter and other human rights issues, and for people involved in human rights legal cases who need money for courts and lawyers,” Zaree previously told Egyptian Streets. The award also provides for personal protection and allowing work to continue.

 

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@AyaNaderM

Aya Nader is an independent journalist based in Egypt, published in Open Democracy, Daily News Egypt, The National, and Al-Monitor, among others. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at the American University in Cairo.

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