An imprisoned Vietnamese journalist has received a prestigious human rights award.

On January 19, the Martin Ennals Foundation named Pham Doan Trang, Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja from Bahrain and Dr. Daouda Diallo from Burkina Faso as recipients of the 2022 Martin Ennals Prize for Human Rights Defenders.

The Geneva-based foundation said the three laureates have worked as driving forces in the human rights movement and inspired many others to commit to protecting human rights.

He said Trang, who was sentenced to nine years in prison last month for spearheading anti-state propaganda, is a prominent journalist, editor and democracy advocate in Vietnam, where the Communist Party has left little room for opposition voices to flourish.

The 43-year-old activist founded several independent media outlets to raise awareness about their fundamental rights, inspiring many other journalists and human rights defenders to speak out.

Trinh Huu Long, one of her closest colleagues, said: “The Martin Ennals Prize is a loud and clear message to the authoritarian Vietnamese government and, more importantly, to the Vietnamese people, that what she has done is fair and that the international community is standing close to it.

Some bring such passion and charisma to their causes that they inspire others, mobilizing the future generation of the movement.

Al-Khawaja is described as a charismatic architect of Bahrain’s human rights movement and a leader of the 2011 protests calling for democracy and greater freedom in the Gulf region. He inspires future generations in his country to keep fighting despite his decade-long imprisonment.

The foundation said Dr. Diallo carries the torch of justice and accountability to victims of violence and their families. His message of unity between different ethnic groups and faiths inspires a country struggling with extreme poverty, hunger and weak governance.

The Martin Ennals Award provides recognition and protection each year to human rights defenders who fight for freedom, justice, equality and accountability in their communities and countries, often at the risk of their lives.

The foundation said human rights activists work tirelessly across the world. Some bring such passion and charisma to their causes that they inspire others, mobilizing the future generation of the movement.

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“In 2022, the jury named three galvanizers of the human rights movement; courage is the bond between them,” said Hans Thoolen, president of the jury for the Martin Ennals Prize.

Isabel de Sola, director of the Martin Ennals Foundation, indicated that the organizers had decided to postpone the award ceremony to June 2 because “the latest outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic does not allow us to welcome the winners. and the public in optimal conditions. ”

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