Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

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The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, sometimes called "the Nobel Prize for human rights",[1] was created in 1993 to honour and protect individuals around the world who demonstrate exceptional courage in defending and promoting human rights. Its principal aim is to provide special protection ("protective publicity") to human rights defenders who are at risk by focusing international media attention on their plight, mainly through internet, particularly in their country of origin. The award is named after Martin Ennals, past secretary general of Amnesty International.

The award carries a cash prize of 20,000 Swiss francs to be used by the award winners to support their work in the field of human rights. The annual ceremony takes place in Geneva in October in association with the City of Geneva. An international jury, composed of representatives of ten human rights organizations, selects the award winner each year. Members of the jury include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation of Human Rights, World Organisation Against Torture, Front Line Defenders, International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights First, International Service for Human Rights, Diakonie Germany, and Huridocs.


Year Name
1994 Harry Wu (China)
1995 Asma Jahangir (Pakistan)
1996 Clement Nwankwo (Nigeria)
1997 Samuel Ruiz Garcia (Mexico)
1998 Eyad El Sarraj (Palestine)
1999 Natasha Kandic (Yugoslavia)
2000 Immaculée Birhaheka (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
2001 Peace Brigades International (Colombia)
2002 Jacqueline Moudeina (Chad)
2003 Alirio Uribe Muñoz [es] (Colombia)
2004 Lidia Yusupova (Russia)
2005 Aktham Naisse (Syria)
2006 Akbar Ganji (Iran) and Arnold Tsunga (Zimbabwe)
2007 Rajan Hoole, Kopalasingham Sritharan (both Sri Lanka) and Pierre Claver Mbonimpa (Burundi)
2008 Mutabar Tadjibaeva (Uzbekistan)
2009 Emadeddin Baghi (Iran)
2010 Muhannad Al-Hassani [de] (Syria)
2011 Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda)
2012 Luon Sorvath (Cambodia)
2013: Joint Mobile Group (Russia)
2014 Alejandra Ancheita (Mexico)
2015 Ahmed Mansoor (United Arab Emirates)
2016 Ilham Tohti (China)
2017 Mohamed Zaree (Egypt)[2]
2019 Abdul Aziz Muhamat (originally Sudan, but in limbo on Manus[3])


  1. ^ "Le combat de Mutabar Tadjibaeva, survivante des geôles de Tachkent". Le Monde. 24 November 2008.
  2. ^ "2017 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders goes to Mohamed Zaree". Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  3. ^ Young, Evan (14 February 2019). "Refugee flown from Manus Island to Switzerland to accept major human rights award". SBS News. Retrieved 14 February 2019.

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