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Nominations wanted for Martin Ennals award

Syrian lawyer Muhannad al-Hassani, the Martin Ennals Award 2010 laureate
Syrian lawyer Muhannad al-Hassani, the Martin Ennals Award 2010 laureate

Martin Ennals Foundation

The Martin Ennals Foundation is seeking nominations for its 2011 award for human rights defenders. The deadline is 9 December.

The Martin Ennals award, named after Amnesty International's first secretary-general and worth 20,000 Swiss Francs (US$20,300), is given annually to individuals or organisations demonstrating an exceptional record of combating human rights violations by courageous and innovative means. Special consideration is given to those at risk and in need of immediate protection.

Winners are chosen by an international jury made up of 10 leading human rights NGOS, including IFEX member Human Rights Watch. This year's award went to Syrian lawyer Muhannad al-Hassani, who is serving a three-year jail sentence for "weakening national sentiment" and "spreading false news". His crime? He reported on legal proceedings before Syria's Security Court - which are meant to be public - and brought attention to the case of detainee who died as a result of torture. Days after he received the award, he was viciously attacked by a cell mate.

To download a nomination form or get more information, see the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders website
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