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Bibliotheca Alexandrina grants human rights award to CIHRS

(CIHRS/IFEX) - March 3, 2010 - The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has granted a human rights award to the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) "in appreciation of its distinguished, ongoing efforts in the field of human rights and its defense of freedom of expression," the library said. The award includes a shield named for the late Dr. Adel Abu Zahra, a prominent civil society pioneer, and a monetary prize. Dr. Ismail Serag Eldin, the director of the library, will present the award later today to the Institute's program coordinator, Samy Saad.

The CIHRS was awarded the French Republic Award for Human Rights in 2007.

In other news, the CIHRS is convening a seminar in Paris next Tuesday to discuss the state of human rights in the Arab world as detailed in its annual report, "Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform", in cooperation with the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the French Human Rights League, and the Institute for Political Science in the Arab World in Paris (L'Association des Elèves de Sciences Po pour le Monde Arabe, SPMA). Speakers in the seminar include Kamel Jendoubi, the president of the EMHRN; Driss El Yazami, the secretary-general of the FIDH, Michel Tubiana, the honorary president of the French Human Rights League; and Bahey eldin Hassan, the director of the CIHRS. Bahey eldin Hassan will also be meeting with personnel at the French Foreign Ministry about the Institute's annual report.

The report was discussed last month in seminars at several American universities and a roundtable at the US Department of State with ten members from the department's human rights division. Bahey eldin Hassan also met with human rights specialists in the US Department of State, Congress, and the White House, and he was part of a delegation of human rights defenders who met with President Barack Obama, during which he gave him a copy of the CIHRS report.

Moataz El Fegiery, the executive director of the CIHRS, discussed the report in January in Brussels in several meetings with the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament, the EU Cabinet, and the European Commission. The report was also discussed at a roundtable with the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, in a session attended by Bahey eldin Hassan and Jeremy Smith, the director of the CIHRS office in Geneva. The discussion was moderated by Adam Abdel Mawla, the Middle East coordinator at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The CIHRS will convene another seminar on the report at the UN headquarters in Geneva on March 12, with the participation of Kamel Jendoubi; Nabeel Rajab, the chair of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights; Tareq Khater, the chair of Association for Human Rights Legal Aid in Egypt; and others.

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