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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.

Learn more about this year's finalists


Pham Thanh Nghien, Vietnam - 2017 Award Finalist Video

Their voices won't be silenced

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.

Click here to join our campaign.

Ryan Lariba
5 April 2017

Dispatches 2016 presents the work Front Line Defenders has undertaken around the world for the protection and security of human rights defenders at risk in 2016, including the impact of grants, training, advocacy, visibility, rest & respite and other programs, as well as the launch of the HRD Memorial, honoring HRDs killed since the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998.

Download Dispatches 2016

Berta Caceres - protest
31 March 2015

In April 2015 Front Line Defenders and Verso Books published La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico - the first book in a series of nonfiction graphic novels. La Lucha features the real life stories of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in northern Mexico who confront lethal challenges in order to promote human rights, justice and accountability.