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2020 Václav Havel Prize awarded to Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul

19-04-2021, 14:46 World
2020 Václav Havel Prize awarded to Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul


19 April 2021, 14:46 - NovostiNK
The eighth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul, the press service at Parliamentary Assembh of the Council of Europe reported.

The 60,000-euro prize was presented at a special ceremony on the opening day of the spring plenary session of the PACE, held in a “hybrid” format in Strasbourg.

Ms Alhathloul is one of the leaders of the Saudi feminist movement, having campaigned to end the male guardianship system, as well as the Saudi ban on women driving, and for greater protection for women facing abuse in the Kingdom. She spent 1001 days in prison as a result of her stand, and was only released in February 2020, though is still subject to house arrest and other restrictions in her home country.

Accepting the award on her behalf in a virtual address, Loujain’s sister Lina Alhathloul thanked the award committee: “International support is the only way we can expose the injustices in my country and protect the victims. Thank you for giving us the strength to continue our fight.”

She added: “Loujain sacrified herself to fight for a better life for Saudi women. Because of her activism, she was kidnapped, illegally imprisoned, brutally tortured, placed in solitary confinement for months, and now, sentenced as a terrorist. For years now, the Saudi regime has been trying to tarnish her image, to erase any support for her, and to make her forgotten. But the more time passes, the more Loujain proves to the world how incredibly brave, resilient and attached to her values she is.”

Presenting the award, PACE President Rik Daems, who chaired the selection panel, congratulated the winner. “Václav Havel continues to inspire us to dream big. And all three of our nominees have the courage, the passion, the energy and the determination to dream big. And to fight for their dreams of a better and more equal world. One where women are treated with dignity and respect.”


https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2021/04/19/V%C3%A1clav-Havel-Prize-Saudi-activist/2488430


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