Tunisian Woman Wins Swedish Olof Palme Prize for Human Rights

Radhia Nasraoui Tunisian lawyer and human rights activist

Arab Women Media Watch Centre in UK (AWMW) congratulates the 2012 Olof Palme Prize winners, Radhia Nasraoui from Tunisia and Waleed Sami Abu Alkhair from Saudi Arabia both of whom are Arab lawyers, fighting for the freedoms and rights of people in the Arab region.

{jcomments on}The Human rights advocates share the 2012 Palme Prize. Radhia Nasraoui defended human rights as a lawyer for over thirty years while facing all kinds of pressures. Her motto “Not to use our voices makes us accomplices in oppression”. Nasraoui is co-founder of the Committee for struggle against Torture in Tunisia and a member of Amnesty International in Tunisia. 

Saudi Lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair

Saudi Lawyer Waleed Sami Abu al-Khair was awarded the Olof Palme Prize for his sustained and continuous defence of human and civil rights for both men and women in Saudi Arabia. He runs the website “Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia” and use Facebook to publish news about breaches of rights. His wife,Samar Badawi, is a human rights activist who has achieved a great deal for Saudi women’s rights and received  the prestigious “Women of Courage Award” from the US State Department after she filed a lawsuit against her father challenging the kingdom’s rigid guardian system for women.

‘We are very proud of Nasraoui’s achievements and the recognition she has received by the Swedish government and the help she has received from Amnesty International who supported her on her fight against oppression’ said Iqbal Tamimi, Director of Arab Women Media Watch Centre in UK.

‘‘The fact that she has faced harassment for fighting for people’s rights since she started her mission 3 decades ago in 1978 during a time of riots and suppression of trade unionists, fighting for the rights of clients who ‘disappeared’ or beaten or were ill-treated in prison and campaigning against the inhuman detention condition or even the arrest of her own husband, Hamma Hammami, Tunisian Communist Labor Party PCOT, who was tortured and sentenced to jail in 1994 did not deter her from continuing her mission of defending human rights’ Tamimi explained. 

The award, aimed at promoting peace and disarmament and combatting racism and xenophobia, was created in memory of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme who was gunned down by a lone attacker in February 1986, shortly after leaving a Stockholm cinema.

The prize consists of a diploma and $75,000 which this year will be shared between the two recipients.

In 2011, the Palme Prize was shared by Roberto Saviano, author of Italian mafia exposé Gomorrah, and Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho, who has exposed high-level corruption in Mexico. Other past winners include Palestinian psychiatrist Ehad El-Sarraj, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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