Freedom House honors Human Rights Activists from Middle East

Brussels

Freedom House today honors the contributions of Syrian human rights defender, Razan Zaitouni and Egyptian democracy activist, Esraa Abdel Fattah Rashed with its New Generation Award. The award, given for the first time this year, will be presented at a ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by Member of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, Chairwoman of the Human Rights Subcommittee.
 
“This award recognizes the exceptional courage and accomplishment of these two activists in their struggle for reform in the Arab World,” said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House. “They have shown deep commitment and creativity in their activism and have persevered in the face of harsh repression.”
 
Razan Zaitouni has represented political prisoners in civilian and military courts, and in 2001, founded the Syrian Human Rights Organization. She has reported on numerous human rights abuses at a time when independent voices have been silenced in Syria, and even the most prominent human rights defenders are being put behind bars.
 
Esraa Abdel Fattah was a creator of the April 6 group on Facebook, which attracted over 70,000 supporters for a general strike in 2008, an unprecedented act of solidarity in Egypt. For her bravery in launching this pioneering act, she was arrested. She has continued to draw attention in her blog to violations of human rights and remains a target of regime harassment.
 
“These frontline activists are an inspiration to their fellow citizens and to us all,” said Daniel Calingaert, Freedom House deputy director of programs. “They risk their own lives every day fighting for the freedom of others in their country.”
For more information on Egypt and Syria, visit:
 

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.  
 
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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