The Amnesty Human Rights Award 2018 goes to the Nadeem Centre for its fight against torture in Egypt
To mark the 7th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution (25 January), Amnesty is taking a strong stand against torture in Egypt by awarding the Nadeem Centre its Human Rights Award. The award will be presented on 16 April at the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin.
The 9th Amnesty International Germany Human Rights Award will go to the Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture in Cairo. For over 20 years, the centre has been documenting torture by Egyptian security forces and treating survivors of torture and violence at its specialist clinic, which is the only one of its kind in the country. The authorities have been doing all they can to disrupt the organisation’s work ever since 2016. Most recently, this has seen the forced closure of the centre’s clinic in February 2017. “By presenting the award to the Nadeem Centre, Amnesty International is recognising its important role in the fight for human rights in Egypt. The Nadeem Centre’s staff provide medical and psychological care to torture survivors under the most difficult of conditions, and bringing to light the grave human rights abuses that are being perpetrated”, said Amnesty in justifying its reasons for presenting the centre with its award.
“It has been seven years since the Egyptian revolution started, and the human rights situation has never been worse there. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government is systematically suppressing political opponents. The police and intelligence services are responsible for heinous crimes such as torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings”, said Markus N. Beeko, Secretary General of Amnesty International in Germany. “Authorities are also increasingly targeting human rights activists. And recently, a law restricting the work of non-governmental organisations was adopted. By presenting the Amnesty Human Rights Award to the Nadeem Centre, we want to support all the courageous women and men who put their lives on the line in the struggle against torture, violence and despotism in Egypt.”
The Egyptian government denies the use of torture. Security forces have repeatedly tried to prevent the centre from doing its work, including temporarily freezing the organisation’s accounts in 2016 and imposing travel bans on two of its founders. In February 2017 security forces stormed the Nadeem Centre, closing and sealing off its clinical spaces. The Nadeem Centre appealed against the closure of the clinic later that same month, with the verdict due on 21 February 2018.
With its Human Rights Award, every two years the German section of Amnesty honours individuals and groups who have championed human rights under the most difficult of conditions. The award recognises the commitment of these people, supports them and aims to raise awareness of their activities among the public. The award is supported by the German human rights foundation Stiftung Menschenrechte, Förderstiftung Amnesty that supports the work of Amnesty International. 2018 marks the ninth time the Human Rights Award will have been presented. The ceremony will be held on 16 April at the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin. Previous recipients include: Henri Tiphagne from India (2016), Alice Nkom from Cameroon (2014) and Abel Barrera from Mexico (2011).