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Ameira Osman Hamid

WHRD, Engineer, Head of Organization
No to Women Oppression Initiative
Ameira Osman Hamid Receives Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

The annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk was established in 2005 to honour the work of HRDs who are courageously making outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.

Ameira Osman Hamid is a woman human rights defender in Sudan, an engineer, and the Chairperson of the ‘’No to Women Oppression’’ Initiative. Ameira has consistently advocated for democracy, human rights and women’s rights in a context that consistently pushed back against it, standing up to oppression and injustice in the face adversity. The No to Women Oppression Initiative defends women's rights and advocates for legal and judicial reform. Since its establishment in 2009, the No to Women Oppression Initiative launched campaigns against the Public Order Law, which interfered in women’s personal and public life. The Public Order Law would dictate what was proper for women to wear and how to act in public life whilst also allotting power to citizens to call and report such behaviours.

The NWO Initiative was founded after Sudanese journalist and WHRD Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein, and 13 other women, were arrested and faced flogging for wearing trousers in public (a violation against the Public Order Law). The arrests and trials sparked a nation-wide protest against Public Order Laws for its limitation on women’s rights. A decade after the NWO’s founding and contributions, in November 2019, the law was finally repealed, marking a progression towards inclusivity of women’s rights. The Initiative also works with other NGOs and civil society organisations for the collective advocacy and advancement of women's rights.

Ameira has also concentrated her work on helping marginalised women in conflict zones access their rights. Ameira herself was previously a victim of human rights violations – the most notable example being when in 2013, when she was detained after she refused to put on her headscarf.

In her position as Chairperson, Ameira and the NWO have launched numerous campaigns against the restrictive Public Order law. For her work in human rights, Ameira has been a victim of unjust arrests and detention. In 2002, she was charged for wearing trousers, and most recently after a raid in January 2022, she was taken from from her house in Khartoum to an unknown location by armed security officers in plain clothes, before being released on bail a week later. Nevertheless, Ameira never deterred from her mission and actively participated in peaceful demonstrations, disregarding her personal safety to stand at the helm and bring forwards such progression.


Human rights defenders are vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and detention by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The 2010 National Security Act grants the NISS extensive powers to arrest and detain people up to four and a half months without judicial review, and with complete impunity when the detention is arbitrary. Human rights defenders have been held incommunicado, without access to legal representation, and family visits have been refused without reasons. Detained HRDs have been often held in NISS cells that fall outside the jurisdiction of prisons laws and regulations, where they have also suffered ill-treatment and torture.