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The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) announced that Femi Falana, a founding member of its Lawyers Network for the Defence of Media and Journalist in West Africa, won the 2008 Bernard Simons Memorial Award for his contributions to human rights in his home country, Nigeria, and West Africa.

Falana, president of the West African Bar Association, will receive his award in October during this year's International Bar Association conference in Buenos Aires. The biannual award, instituted in 1995 to honour English solicitor Bernard Simons, honours an exceptional lawyer in human rights and criminal law.

Falana was the MFWA's counsel in the ECOWAS Community Court's June 2008 judgment in the case of Chief Ebrima Manneh, a "disappeared" journalist, against the Gambian government. He is also representing the MFWA in an ECOWAS torture case against Gambia. He has already won several awards, including from the American Bar Association in 1996 and the International League for Human Rights in 2000.

See the MWFA announcement at:

(20 August 2008)

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