Egypt, Haiti, Russian Federation
, Middle East & North Africa

Human rights defenders honoured for courageous work in the face of grave personal risk

(Geneva, 25 April 2013) – Three human rights defenders from different regions of the world have been honoured for their courageous work in the face of great personal risk with the announcement of the Final Nominees for the Martin Ennals Award 2013.

The Award is conferred annually by ten of the world’s leading human rights organisations, including the International Service for Human Rights, to highlight the work of human rights defenders and provide protective publicity to defenders at risk.

‘The Martin Ennals Award recognizes the courageous work of human rights defenders and, through publicity, seeks to promote and provide protection for their work,’ said Phil Lynch, Director of ISHR and one of the jury members responsible for the selection of nominees.

In 2013, the Final Nominees for the Award are Mona Seif, an Egyptian human rights defender and digital activist who campaigns against torture and ill-treatment by police and security forces, Mario Joseph, a Haitian human rights lawyer who provides free legal services to combat impunity and empower the poor, and the Joint Mobile Group, an NGO working in Chechnya, Russia, to document human rights abuses. All three nominees have been threatened, harassed and even imprisoned for their work to uphold human rights.

‘Around the world – from Egypt, to Russia, to Ethiopia – human rights defenders face threats, attacks and reprisals for their work. The work of these defenders is crucial to uphold freedom, equality and the rule of law. Human rights defenders also play an important role in contributing to development and combatting impunity and corruption,’ said Mr Lynch.

‘ISHR calls on all governments to recognize, respect and protect human rights defenders and to provide a supportive and enabling environment for their important work.’

Further information about the Martin Ennals Awards, including biographical information and videos about the Final Nominees, is available at The Final Award will be announced at a ceremony in Geneva on 8 October 2013.

Contact: Phil Lynch, Director of the International Service for Human Rights, on [email protected] or + 41 76 708 4738.

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