Activist Mahienour al-Massry wins intl human rights award

Convicted human rights advocate and lawyer Mahienour al-Massry has been awarded the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize for the year 2014, AFP reported on Thursday.

The international award is given to a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who, by his/her work has illustrated their activity or suffering, or for the defense of human rights, protecting the supremacy of law, or supporting the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form, according to the award’s official website.

Massry was sentenced to two years in prison in May, along with eight others, for violating a contentious Protest Law. The verdict was widely condemned by national and international human rights organizations.

According to AFP, Massry was awarded the price as she was jailed under several Egyptian ruling regimes including Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed Morsi and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Massry said in a letter from prison that she would not take any pardons for her release, and would accept nothing less than the annulling of the Protest Law and release of all those who have been convicted according to it.

The Late South African anti-apartheid leader and President Nelson Mandela was the first to be awarded the prize in 1985, while he was still in prison.

Friends of Massry hailed the award, referring to the international recognition she has received enduring prison in her own country. Alexandria-based activist and member of the No to Military Trials campaign, Evronia Azer, said on her Facebook page that “Mahienour’s imprisonment is indeed able to liberate a nation. Mahienour is willing to make us happy, even when she is in prison.”

The award will be made in Florence, Italy in October this year.

Massry’s lawyers said that they have appealed the verdict against her, and the appeal session is scheduled to take place on Saturday.


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