Freedom House Honors Jailed Egyptian Human Rights Activist

Washington, DC

Freedom House honored jailed Egyptian human rights activist Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim in a ceremony Monday, October 21, 2002.

Dr. Ibrahim's wife Barbara Ibrahim accepted for her husband the first Bette Bao Lord Award for Writing on Freedom. The ceremony took place in Freedom House's Washington DC office.

The Award is named for Freedom House Chairman Emeritus and acclaimed best-selling author, Bette Bao Lord. Ms. Lord served as Freedom House chair from 1993-2001. Dr. Ibrahim is the author of numerous monographs, essays and articles on democracy, human rights and economic development.

Bette Bao Lord's comments
Saad Eddin Ibrahim's speech (read by Barbara Ibrahim)

Dr. Ibrahim led the Ibn Khaldun Foundation, a think tank focused on political and economic reform that documented human rights abuses and government and electoral irregularities in Egypt. He is currently serving a seven-year jail term for "damaging Egypt's image" by accepting a grant from the European Union that was used to encourage people to vote in Egypt's legislative elections in 2000. Dr. Ibrahim, a Muslim, has also spoken out on behalf of religious tolerance and against violent attacks on Egypt's Coptic Christian minority.

"Saad Eddin Ibrahim is a paragon of courage," said Ms. Lord. "His deep commitment to human rights in Egypt and his selfless refusal to compromise should stand as true inspiration to the embattled voices of freedom everywhere. Freedom House is proud to honor the important writings of such a deserving advocate of tolerance, democracy, and pluralism," she said.

Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom awarded Dr. Ibrahim its International Religious Freedom Award in a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol in December 1999.

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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