On 6th October, the 22nd Martin Ennals Award ceremony took place at the University of Geneva, in the framework of the Human Rights Week.
The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders was created in 1993, in order to encourage human rights defenders who are at risk and therefore in need of immediate protection. The goal was and is, still today, to provide special protection to human rights defenders by drawing international media attention on their plight.
The award is granted annually to human rights defenders that have demonstrated an “exceptional record of combating human rights violations by courageous and innovative means”, and consists of a cash prize of 20’000 CHF, whose aim is to support winners’ work in the field of human rights.
The Martin Ennals Award ceremony was hosted by Ville de Genève, in partnership with the Martin Ennals Foundation, chaired by Ms. Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey, Former President of the Swiss Confederation. The jury of the Martin Ennals Award is composed of the following human rights NGOs: Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch; International Federation of Human Rights; World Organization Against Torture; Front Line; International Commission of Jurists; Human Rights First; International Service for Human Rights; Diakonie Germany; HURIDOCS.
The laureate of the 2015 edition of the Martin Ennals Award is Ahmed Mansoor, an Emirati human rights defender who, since 2006, has focused on initiatives concerning freedom of expression, civil and political rights. The two other finalists were: Robert Sann Aung, from Myanmar; and Asmaou Diallo, from Guinea.