Case History: Soraya Rahim Sobhrang
Dr. Sobhrang, like many prominent women human rights defenders in Afghanistan, has faced constant harassment, defamation and death threats since taking up her post. In 2010 Dr. Soraya Rahim Sobhrang received the 6th Annual Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.
Dr. Sobhrang is the Commissioner responsible for Women's Rights at the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission(AIHRC). As Commissioner for Women's Rights, she is responsible for the monitoring, protection and promotion of women's rights throughout Afghanistan.
Dr. Soraya Rahim Sobhrang from Afghanistan today received the 2010 Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders At Risk. The Award was presented by Andrea Corr, at a prestigious ceremony in Dublin's City Hall attended by diplomats, political and business leaders and the media.
Dr. Sobhrang is the Commissioner responsible for Women's Rights at theAfghan Independent Human Rights Commission(AIHRC).
In accepting the Award Dr Sobhrang said “This Front Line Award is a tribute not just to me but to all the women of Afghanistan, and in particular those women human rights defenders who on a daily basis face the risk of attack or assassination to defend the rights of other women”.
Speaking during the award presentation Andrea Corr paid tribute to the work of Dr. Sobhrang saying, “she is a living example of how ONE person can make a difference and offer hope to many.”
“Dr Soraya Sobhrang has shown exceptional courage in standing up for the rights of women - facing down those who would seek to reimpose an oppressive system - and dealing with the constant threats to her life.”
As Commissioner for Women's Rights at the AIHRC, Dr Soraya Rahim Sobhrang is responsible for the monitoring, protection and promotion of women's rights throughout Afghanistan. Dr. Sobhrang, like many prominent women human rights defenders in Afghanistan, has faced constant harassment, defamation and death threats since taking up her post.
Women human rights defenders in Afghanistan have been regularly threatened and some have been killed. The predominant culture of inequality and misogyny is still widespread and Dr. Sobhrang is never sure when she leaves home for her office each morning that she will be able to return that evening. Despite the danger she continues her courageous struggle to defend the rights of women in Afghanistan.
“ Despite the clear commitments made in the new Afghan constitution to uphold and protect the rights of women – as the security situation has deteriorated - so has respect for women's rights also deteriorated ”, said Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Front Line.
“It is women like Dr Sobhrang whose work on behalf of others will help Afghanistan emerge from the ongoing pattern of endemic violence and misogyny”, she added.
This is the sixth annual Front Line Award for human rights defenders. The winner is selected by a panel of Irish parliamentarians from a short list of nominated human rights defenders who have shown tremendous courage and tenacity in the face of threats and intimidation.