The Joint Mobile Group was selected as the 2013 Laureate Martin Ennals Award. The ICJ is one of the ten members of the jury.
The Award is given by the International Human Rights Community 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.
Strongly supported by the City of Geneva, the Award was presented here today.
After the murder of several human rights activists working in Chechnya, Igor Kalyapin (photo) 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 publicize 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.”
Micheline Calmy-Rey, Chair, Martin Ennals Foundation said: “The choice of the Jury has again shown that human rights defenders are the most crucial actors and can make a difference on the ground.”
The Jury also selected two recipients of the New Martin Ennals Prizes: Mario Joseph, who is referred to as Haiti’s most important Human Rights lawyer and has worked on some of the most important cases in Haiti, including the current case against the former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier; and Mona Seif, from Egypt, core founder of the “No To Military Trials for Civilians” national movement.
The main award of the human rights movement, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among ten of the world’s leading human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Jury is composed of the following NGOs: ICJ, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, World Organisation Against Torture, FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), HURIDOCS, Human Rights First, Front Line Defenders, International Service for Human Rights and German Diakonie.