HRW honours rights activists with ‘Alison Des Forges Award’

New York, Aug. 11 (ANI): Four courageous and tireless advocates for human rights are the 2015 recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

The winners, leading voices for justice in their countries, are Nisha Ayub, a leading human rights defender on transgender rights in Malaysia; Yara Bader, a journalist and human rights activist who works to expose the detention and torture of journalists in war-torn Syria; Khadija Ismayilova, a prominent investigative journalist who has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan; and Nicholas Opiyo, a leading human rights lawyer and founder of the human rights organization Chapter Four Uganda, who has worked tirelessly to defend civil liberties in Uganda.

Ismayilova is currently behind bars and on trial on bogus tax and other charges brought in retribution for her reporting.

“The Alison Des Forges Award honors people who work courageously and selflessly to defend human rights, often in dangerous situations and at great personal sacrifice,” said the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth.

“The honorees have dedicated their lives to defending the world’s most oppressed and vulnerable people,” she added.

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 State on February 12, 2009.

Ayub will be honored in Amsterdam; Bader in London and Paris; Ismayilova in Munich and Geneva; and Opiyo in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

Father Kinvi will tour North America and will be honored at dinners in New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Toronto. Dr. Rajagopal will be honored in Hanover. (ANI)

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