World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Iranian Dissident Wins Geneva Human Rights Prize

GENEVA, May 14

Iranian Dissident Wins Geneva Human Rights Prize

Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch announced today that it will be awarding its prestigious annual human rights prize next week to Iranian dissident and best-selling author Marina Nemat, now living in Canada, who was jailed and tortured as a political prisoner in Tehran when she was only 16 years old.

“UN Watch is honoring Marina Nemat for her brave and outstanding work worldwide in bearing witness to the horrific crimes perpetrated against her by a regime that continues to assault, jail, torture, rape and execute human rights defenders, religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, and thousands of other innocent men, women and children,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“Marina’s clear and compelling testimonies, published in best-selling books and delivered before the United Nations and numerous other global audiences, have helped stir the conscience of mankind to demand fundamental human rights for the voiceless victims of Iran, whose plight has only worsened in inverse proportion to the charm offensive of its rulers.”
In a recent report, UN chief Ban Ki-moon rebuked Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for the regime’s increased use of capital punishment since the new ruler took office in August. “At least 500 persons are known to have been executed in 2013, including 57 in public. Those executed reportedly included 27 women and two children,” Ban said.
At the Geneva ceremony to be held on May 22, 2014, next to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nemat will address an audience of UN officials, ambassadors and community leaders, as she receives the Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award, named after the civil rights advocate, diplomat and UN delegate who founded the watchdog NGO in 1993.

Morris B. Abram (1918-2000) worked closely with Rev. Martin Luther King, winning key legal battles for the equal rights of African-Americans. Over three decades, Abram was a leading figure at the UN Commission on Human Rights, and at its Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Previous winners of the prestigious prize include Russian dissident and world chess champion Garry Kasparov, Dr. Massouda Jalal, the first woman in Afghanistan to run for president and to serve as Minister for Women’s Affairs, and Esther Mujawayo, an activist for victims of the genocide in Rwanda.

UN Watch’s advisory board includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate David Trimble, Chinese dissident Yang Jianli and Katrina Lantos Swett, Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The Geneva non-governmental organization is best known for bringing dissidents, human rights defenders and victims to testify before the United Nations, including most recently from China, Cuba, Egypt, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Venezuela.

Each year, together with 25 NGOs, UN Watch assembles top dissidents to spotlight the world’s most critical human rights issues at its annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, where Nemat spoke in 2013.

“I am honored to receive UN Watch’s award and will accept it on behalf my fellow political dissidents, who are currently being tortured in Iranian jails despite Rouhani’s promise to improve the protection of political freedoms,” said Marina Nemat.

Nemat was just 16 in Tehran was she was arrested for criticizing the sudden Islamicization of her school curriculum. She was jailed in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison, tortured, and sentenced to death. As recounted in her best-selling memoir Prisoner of Tehran, which has been printed by dozens of publishing houses around the world, Nemat was forced to marry a prison guard to save her life and her family.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news