Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Human Rights Award


Use through Monday, October 16, 2006

Contact: Henry Griggs, 212-845-5274, griggsh@humanrightsfirst.org

Human Rights First to Honor Cuban and Indonesian Rights Activists
At October 16 Awards Dinner

NEW YORK – Human Rights First will honor the Damas de Blanco from Cuba and Suciwati from Indonesia with the organization’s 2006 Human Rights Award for their courage and contributions to the human rights movements in their respective countries. The awards will be presented at an October 16 gala ceremony and dinner, which will be open to the press.

Special guests will include Gloria Estefan, Meredith Vieira, Sigourney Weaver and Jeffrey Wright. Human Rights First will also be joined by Alberto J. Mora, former General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Navy.

2006 Human Rights Award Winners:

The Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) are the wives, mothers and relatives of the activists, independent journalists, poets, librarians and writers who were jailed by the Cuban government during the severe crackdown on civil society in 2003. Despite threats and harassment, this group of women has been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights in Cuba. Each week, Damas de Blanco, dressed in white, walk in silent protest of the imprisonment of their husbands, sons and relatives. Accepting the award on behalf of the Damas de Blanco will be Yolanda Huerga Cedeño, a founding member who now lives in Miami with her husband, Manuel Váquez Portal.

Suciwati has been fighting for accountability for the death of her husband, Indonesian rights advocate Munir, since he was fatally poisoned with arsenic in September 2004, in retribution for his human rights work. Despite threats against her life intended to end her campaign to bring Munir’s killers to justice, Suciwati has continued her husband’s work, encouraging victims of human rights violations to call for justice on their own behalf.

2006 Human Rights Award Dinner

Monday, October 16, 2006
Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, New York
Cocktail Reception at 6 pm, Dinner and Award Ceremony at 7:15 pm

Human Rights First is a leading human rights advocacy organization based in New York City and Washington, DC. Since 1978, we have worked in the U.S. and abroad to create a secure and humane world—advancing justice, human dignity, and respect for the rule of law. All of our activities are supported by private contributions. We accept no government funds. Visit our web site: www.humanrightsfirst.org

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