The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) congratulates Yara
Bader, journalist, human rights defender and wife of recently released Mazen Darwish, who was
awarded the Human Rights Watch Alison des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, together with
three other human rights activists.
The award honours people who work
courageously and selflessly to defend human rights, often in dangerous situation and at great
personal sacrifice. Human Rights Watch stated that it “ honours Yara Bader for her tremendous
courage in speaking out on behalf of Syrian detainees despite grave risks to her
Yara Bader has worked continuously to expose the detention and
torture of journalists and detainees in Syria. Her husband Mazen Darwish, Director of the Syrian
Centre for Media and Free Expression (SCM) was released on 10 August 2015 having been detained,
along with two colleagues, Hussein Gharir and Hani Al-Zitani, since February 2012 following a raid
on their offices. For further information see (http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1065
). While he was in
detention Yara Bader assumed the role of acting director of SCM and campaigned tirelessly for his
release at a national, European and international level.
co-director Khalid Ibrahim welcomed the announcement saying “Congratulations Yara Bader you kept
your smile and hope and struggled against all odds”.
She will be honoured
at the Voice for Justice Human Rights Watch Annual dinners held in London and Paris between November
2015 and April 2016.
The other honourees include Nisha Ayub a human
rights defender on transgender rights in Malaysia, Khadija Ismayilova a journalist in Azerbaijan
currently in detention and Nicholas Opiyo a leading human rights lawyer and founder of a human
rights organisation in Uganda.