Support brave women journalists and human rights defenders working in conflict zones by funding the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award 2019!
On 5 October RAW in WAR honours the Anna Politkovskaya Award winners Svetlana Alexievich (2015 Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature from Belarus) and Binalakshmi Nepram (a writer and women’s rights activist from Manipur in India) during a live ceremony at LSO St. Luke's (Barbican) in London.
Anna lived a life of courage and truth-telling in the face of grave danger, just like her friend and the first recipient of the Anna Politkovskaya Award, Natalia Estemirova, a Chechen human rights activist and freelance journalist.
15 July 2019 marked the anniversary of the murder of Natalia, who worked in Chechnya for the human rights organization, Memorial. In a ceremony held in 2007, the Women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, on behalf of RAW in WAR, presented the first annual Anna Politkovskaya Award to Natalia Estemirova, for her courage in seeking and telling the truth about the torture, disappearance and murder of civilians in the war in Chechnya. 10 Years on no one has been brought to justice for the murder of Natalia.
As we remember Natalia Estemirova, and all that she stood for, we are gravely concerned for the safety of yet another woman human rights defender whose life is in danger. Since May 2019, Gulalai Ismail, a courageous Pakistani women’s rights defender and a 2017 Anna Politkovskaya Award winner, has been forced into hiding. On the 10th anniversary of Natalia's murder, women journalists and human rights defenders, winners of the Anna Politkovskaya Award and women Nobel Peace Laureates, called together for justice for Natalia in a special joint letter in the Washington Post. They also called on the world's leaders to demand safety for Gulalai and the charges against her to be dropped and to do everything in their power to protect journalists and human rights defenders who, like Gulalai Ismail, work in areas of war and conflict, and who speak out on behalf of the victims.
Every year since 2007, RAW in WAR organises the Anna Politkovskaya Award events - a powerful and special celebration of the courage of the winners of the award, who risk their lives in support of the victims and survivors of violence, while working as journalists and activists in war and conflict zones. To learn more about the award events, for example the ceremony for the the 2013 Award winner Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan please CLICK HERE
On Saturday 5 October 2019, during a special event, you, our supporters, will be able to hear the story of two brave defenders in person and join RAW in WAR to celebrate their courage. Join us to invite and celebrate the Anna Politkovskaya Award winners, Svetlana Alexievich and Binalakshmi Nepram on 5 October in London.
This year, at the event, RAW in WAR will launch a new initiative, a Leadership Programme for young refugees interested in human rights, to honour our colleague and friend Joy Watkins, who passed away in August last year. As part of the programme prominent journalists and human rights defenders, including Anna Politkovskaya Award winners, will provide mentoring and internship opportunities at their organisations and at RAW IN WAR, to support the young persons' development involvement in human rights.
As part of the award RAW in WAR wishes to present a monetary equivalent of the award - a grant to the winners to support their current work. We need your support in order to raise the funds needed to present this grant to the 2018 winners Svetlana Alexievich and Binalakshmi Nepram. This grant will support their ongoing human rights work and support a platform that is necessary to spread the word of the brave and courageous work, which women human rights defenders are carrying out in war and conflict zones worldwide.
Being a charitable organisation, RAW in WAR must raise money to undertake all of its activities, which range from the pivotal campaigns to financial support necessary to continue vital work in conflict.
RAW in WAR’s current work:
- The Anna Politkovskaya Award - previous award winners include Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan, and Vian Dakhil, the only Yazidi MP in Iraq’s Parliament and a 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. We envisage to build and support the Network of Anna Politkovskaya Award winners for joint advocacy and solidarity campaigns in support of women human rights defenders from war and conflict.
- Refusing To Be Silenced – this is a platform through which human rights abuses against women and girls can be discussed, and has included previous Anna Politkovskaya Award winners. Our aim is to share their experiences and voices with a wider audience and enable a discussion, which we hope will inspire others to take action in their own communities. We are hoping to expand this forum in the future to make positive policy change.
- Support the work of women human rights defenders from war and conflict, including the winners of the Anna Politkovskaya Award, who are working in Chechnya, Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Darfur, Ukraine and Pakistan. In May 2017, RAW in WAR supported the efforts of our 2016 Award winner, Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima. RAW’s Founder and Chair, Mariana Katzarova, visited Colombia and took part in Jineth’s campaign “No Es Hora De Callar” (“Now is not the time to remain silent!”) – extending support to women survivors of sexual violence in the conflict.
The 2015 Award winner Kholoud (Waleed) Helmi, the co-founder of the main Syrian underground newspaper ‘Enab Baladi’, which exposes the atrocities that continue to take place on the streets of Syria, and 2014 Award winner Vian Dakhil, the brave Yazidi MP in the Iraq Parliament, both took part in our Refusing To Be Silenced event in March 2016, as part of the WOW - Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre in London - see our 2016 Refusing To Be Silenced video for an inspirational example of our work CLICK HERE.
WE NEED YOU TO GET INVOLVED! Please donate so that we can further support women like Binalakshmi, Svetlana, Gulalai, Kholoud, Vian and Malala.
For more information about RAW, please see our current website – CLICK HERE.
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