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30 September 2016

Svetlana Gannushkina and Mozn Hassan win the 2016 Right Livelihood Award

On 22 September 2016, human rights defenders Svetlana Gannushkina (Russian Federation) and Mozn Hassan (Egypt) were awarded The Right Livelihood Award. The other two recipients were The White Helmets (a volunteer rescue group in Syria) and Turkey's independent "Cumhuriyet" newspaper.

Svetlana Gannushkina has been at the forefront of the struggle for migrant and minority rights in Russia. She is an outspoken advocate for refugees, internally displaced persons and migrant workers. In 1990, she co-founded The Civic Assistance Committee for refugees and internally displaced people, which provides medical, social, legal, financial and other sorts of humanitarian support to thousands of migrants annually. Svetlana has also been vocal about human rights violations in the region, notably the North Caucasus.

Announcing the prize, Ole von Uexkull, the executive director of the Livelihood Award Foundation, said:

Svetlana Gannushkina is not only an outstanding human rights advocate but also a person of immense personal integrity who has fought injustice and indifference her whole life. At a time when xenophobia and intolerance is on the rise in many countries around the world, Gannushkina is an inspiring example of the best in human nature.

Svetlana was awarded the prize "for her decades-long commitment to promoting human rights, justice for refugees and forced migrants, and tolerance among different ethnic groups."

Mozn Hassan is an Egyptian human rights defender and the Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, a group that aims to build an Egyptian feminist movement and supports women human rights defenders through legal and psychological interventions. Mozn has extensively worked on numerous feminist issues in Egypt and the Middle East since 2001 including violence against women in the public space.

Hassan's work has placed her in the crosshairs of various groups during an incredibly turbulent period in Egypt, culminating in the present crackdown on civil society and NGOs (Von Uexkull, director of the Livelihood Award Foundation)

Mozn won the award "for asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination."

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980. Also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," the award recognises, honors and suppports "courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems.”