ECRF: "No matter how dark is the moment, love and hope are always possible"
19 Apr 2018
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP
Human rights defenders Mohamed Sameh and Ahmad Abdallah of 2018 Freedom of Expression Campaigning Award-winning Egypt Commission on Rights and Freedoms. (Photo: Index on Censorship)

The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms is one of the few human rights organisations still operating in a country which has waged an orchestrated campaign against independent civil society groups. Egypt is becoming increasingly hostile to dissent, but ECRF continues to provide advocacy, legal support and campaign coordination, drawing attention to the many ongoing human rights abuses under the autocratic rule of President Abdel Fattah-el-Sisi. Their work has seen them subject to state harassment, their headquarters have been raided and staff members arrested. ECRF are committed to carrying on with their work regardless of the challenges.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honoured being with you this evening, no words can explain my gratitude to Index on Censorship for such an opportunity to speak in front of you and for having this valuable prize on behalf of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms. Such international recognition makes us stronger.

No matter how dark is the moment, love and hope are always possible.

And when I speak of love and hope, I have to speak about Hanan Badeldin, the young lady whose husband Khaled Hafez disappeared five years ago, and she persistently kept looking for him all this time through visiting all prisons, asking forcibly disappeared people who reappeared if they saw her husband in any detention facilities they had been to. During one of these visits, almost a year ago, Hanan was arrested and detained on charges of smuggling an illicit item into prison. This illicit item was a paper with the name of her husband and the date of his disappearance, asking to be circulated among prisoners so that anyone who might have seen her husband could give her any information about him

Did Hanan surrender? No, in every renewal of her detention session, she took the photo of her husband with her, raising it in the hope that any other prisoner there might identify where he was.

And when I speak of love and hope, I have to speak about Ibrahim Metwally, whose son Amr disappeared in 2013. Ibrahim kept looking for him for more than four years and Ibrahim is now in jail. Why? Because he formed the association of the families of the forcibly disappeared, and this has been sufficient reason for the authorities to lock him up in solitary confinement in a cell full of garbage for more than a year.

And when I speak of love and hope, I have to speak about Paola Regeni and her son Giulio, an Italian PhD student who lived in Egypt, who disappeared and was killed in Egypt in 2016. For more than two years she has sparked waves of hope and persistence both in Egypt and Italy, speaking each and every time about enforced disappearances in Egypt, speaking out for the truth for Giulio and the disappeared in Egypt.

And when I speak of love and hope, I have to speak about the great lawyers who spend a lot of sleepless nights trying to help victims in Egypt and the wonderful researchers and campaigners who remain the voice of the voiceless victims.

Love and hope were my cell mates when I was kept in solitary confinement at this time almost two years ago in a dark cell where I was deprived of even having a pillow and let me tell you, they were the perfect companions.

Love and hope are our sole weapons against our greatest enemy fear. Together we will conquer it, and it is not an anticipation, it is a promise.

Truth for Giulio Regeni and every Giulio in Egypt.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s an honour to be here with you tonight. Thank you so much.

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•该奖项旨在奖励全球反对审查制度的记者、活动家、数字活动家和艺术家 •获奖者将得到为期一年的综合援助支持 •请在indexoncensorship.org/nominations网站提名 •提名于2019年7月1日至7月31日期间开放 •#IndexAwards2020 This press release is also available in Arabic, English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish “审查目录”言论自由奖提名现已开放。该奖项已有二十年历史,旨在表彰世界上最杰出之捍卫言论自由英雄。 2020年将迎来言论自由奖二十周年庆,多年来共有87杰出人士位获奖者。自2015年来“审查目录”已扩大奖项计划,支持22名获奖者在国际间开展捍卫言论自由的工作。 该奖项旨在支持世界各地各阶层活动家。历年获奖者包括洪都拉斯调查记者Wendy Funes,叙利亚漫画家Ali Farzat、巴基斯坦教育活动家马拉拉(Malala Yousafzai)、沙特阿拉伯调查记者Safa Al Ahmad和南非LGBTI摄影师Zanele Muholi。 “审查目录”诚挚邀请公众、公民社会组织、非营利组织和媒体组织提名在全球范围内反对审查制度中应得到表彰和支持的任何个人或组织。 我们在以下四个领域各提供一个奖项: •艺术创作:包括艺术家和艺术出品人,他们的作品挑战压迫和不公并倡导艺术自由表达。该提名可包括视觉艺术家、音乐家、漫画家及创意作家。个人或创作集体均可提名。 •活动家:旨在奖励为在反对审查制度和促进当地言论自由方面产生显着影响的活动家和活动人士开展活动。个人或组织提名均可。 •数字行动:旨在奖励为研发开创性技术以绕过审查制度从而实现信息自由和独立交流。提名包含手机应用程序,数字工具或软件。 •新闻工作:旨在奖励勇敢和坚定的新闻报道,揭露审查制度同言论自由所受威胁,要求信息公开。提名包括博客作家、新闻媒体和调查性非营利组织。 所有获奖者都将得到为期12个月的指导,网络及战略支持。获奖者将于年初(2020年4月)受邀参加于伦敦举办为期一周的研讨会、培训及公众活动,期间住宿及其他相关费用由主办方提供。在这一年中,“审查目录”将与获奖者深入合作以提升其工作的影响力、形象及可持续性。 “审查目录”公司首席执行官朱迪·金斯伯格表示:“言论自由奖向世界展示了20年来最无畏、最未被颂扬的言论自由捍卫者。我们试图褒奖那些推动言论自由的团体和个人的工作,他们往往承受巨大的困难及危险。近年来,我们扩大了奖项计划,给予获奖者有针对性的支持和培训来扩大他们的影响。用您的声音提名言论自由奖以确保他们的声音被世人听到。” 2020年奖项候选名单将于2020年初公布。获奖者将由一个高规格的评审小组选出,并于2020年4月在伦敦举行的颁奖仪式上宣布。提名将于2019年7月1日至2019年7月31日下午五时英国标准时间开放。 言论自由奖于2001年启动,旨在提升全球捍卫言论自由的个人和组织的形象。 有关奖项及更多相关信息,请联系Sean Gallagher,电子邮件:[email protected] 关于言论自由奖 2020年将迎来言论自由奖二十周年庆,多年来共有87位获奖者获奖。自2015年来“审查目录”已扩大奖项计划,支持22名获奖者在国际间开展捍卫言论自由的工作。 2020年度获奖者都将获得为期12个月的指导,网络及战略支持。更多信息 关于“审查目录” “审查目录”是一家总部位于伦敦的非营利组织,负责发表被禁作家和艺术家的作品及反对全球审查制度的活动。自1972年成立以来,“审查目录”在其屡获殊荣的季刊中发表了世界著名文学家的作品,包括萨缪尔·贝克特、纳丁·戈迪默、马里奥·巴尔加斯·略萨、亚瑟·米勒和库尔特·冯内古特。并出版了从哈维尔到埃利夫·沙法克等世界世界知名政论作家的作品。 Index at Latitude: Forest FolktalesJoin Index for Forest Folktales at the Latitude [...]

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