Front Line Defenders
Finalists Selected for 2017 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk
Jury members selected the 2017 finalists for the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk after receiving 142 nominations from 56 countries. The Award is presented annually to a human rights defender who – at great personal risk – has made an exceptional contribution to protecting and promoting the rights of their communities.
Nonhle Mbuthuma, South Africa
Emil Kurbedinov, Ukraine
Abdulhakim Al Fadhli, Kuwait
Pham Thanh Nghien, Vietnam
Francisca Ramírez Torres, Nicaragua
“These five defenders demonstrate the tenacity and will to persist in the face of severe, often life-threatening risks,” said Andrew Anderson, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders.
From gag laws to emergency laws, from inspections against human rights groups to the active erosion of LGBTI and migrant rights, the space in which civil society and human rights defenders can operate in Europe, as in the rest of the world, is shrinking.
Across the world, human rights journalists are using their words and their pictures to hold the authorities accountable, to document and try to prevent human rights violations, to support nonviolent protests and social movements and to fight for the right to freedom of expression.
They are arrested, defamed, criminalised and attacked. But they continue writing, filming, publishing, and taking photos of what oppressive regimes work so hard to hide.
On World Press Freedom Day, Front Line Defenders honours the work of Kazim Kizil, Poonam Agarwal, Esteban Vásquez and all human rights defenders who refuse to be silenced.