MESOP CONGRATULATIONS : Nadia Murad Shortlisted for Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

6 Sept 2016 – BASNEWS – STRASBOURG — Kurdish Yezidi survivor of the Islamic state (IS) sex slavery has been shortlisted for the prestigious Václav Havel Human Rights Prize for her outstanding civil society activities in the defense of human rights.Last week in Prague, the selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, comprising of independent figures from the world of human rights and chaired by the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Pedro Agramunt, drew up the shortlist of three candidatures, including Nadia Murad from Kurdistan Region.

The PACE describes the Kurdish candidate as young, brave Yezidi woman who is now a human rights activist and brings the plight of the Yazidi community, in particular the forced sexual enslavement and human trafficking of women and children captured by ISIS, to the forefront of the international attention. Murad was captured by IS in August 2014 when the IS militants attacked Sinjar in northern Iraq and kidnapped thousands of women after they killed thousands of men from the religious minority community.She later managed to escape the IS sex slavery and become a prominent international figure to take the case of the IS genocide against Yezidis into the spotlight. The Iraqi government earlier this year nominated Murad for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by PACE in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defense of human rights in Europe and beyond. “The Prize is awarded in memory of Václav Havel, playwright, opponent of totalitarianism, architect of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and an enduring symbol of opposition to despotism,” PACE website says. “Nominations of any individual, non-governmental organization or institution working to defend the human rights are taken into consideration. The Prize consists of a sum of €60 000, a trophy and a diploma.”