The three final nominees for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders are Mona Seif (Egypt), Joint Mobile Group (Russia) and Mario Joseph (Haiti). The ICJ is one of the ten members of the jury.
The Martin Ennals Award is given to Human Rights Defenders who have shown deep commitment and face great personal risk. The aim of the award is to provide protection through international recognition.
Selected by ten leading human rights organizations (ICJ, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, International Federation of Human Rights, Front Line Defenders, HURIDOCS, Diakonie – German Protestant Welfare, World Organization Against Torture and International Service for Human Rights) it is the world’s most important Human Rights Prize.
The 2013 Award will be presented on Oct. 8th at a ceremony hosted by the City of Geneva.
Mona Seif (Egypt) is the core founder of the” No To Military Trials for Civilians”, a grassroots initiative which is trying to stop military trials for civilians.
Since February 25, 2011, Mona has brought together activists, lawyers, victims’ families, local stakeholders and started a nationwide movement against military trials.
As part of the recent crackdown on the Freedom of Speech in Egypt she has been charged along with other Human Rights activists.
She noted that “International solidarity, and I mean people’s support not governments, empowers us to continue our battle and stop military trials for civilians“.
After the murder of several human rights activists working in Chechnya, Igor Kalyapin started the Joint Mobile Group. To reduce the risk they send investigators on short missions to Chechnya to document Human Rights abuses.
This information is then used to publicise these abuses to seek legal redress. Igor Kalyapin speaking of the effect of international publicity said “… when the international community is watching us it is more difficult for the authorities to take steps against us…”
Mario Joseph, Haiti’s most important Human Rights lawyer, has worked on some of the most important cases in Haiti, including the current case against the former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
His family received asylum in the United States in 2004, while he chose to return to Haiti. He has faced threats and harassment for much of his 20 years as a lawyer although it has intensified in recent months.
He says: “this recognition from the Ennals Award shines a vital spotlight on my work, and on the work of everyone who is fighting for human rights in Haiti. That spotlight will make our work safer and more effective.”
MEA-Short Summary-2013 (read the pdf)
MEA-MONA SEIF bio-2013 (read the pdf)
MEA-JOINT MOBILE GROUP bio-2013 (read the pdf)
MEA-MARIO JOSEPH bio-2013 (read the pdf)