The three finalists of the 2019 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, which is granted each year in honor of Martin Ennals, Amnesty International Secretary General from 1968 to 1980, have been announced.
Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Eren Keskin has become one of the laureates of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights in 2019.
Eren Keskin, who has been struggling for fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey, especially for minority rights, gender equality and rights violations, for more than 30 years, was previously sentenced to 7 years and six months in prison due to the support and solidarity that she lent to the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which had been closed as per a Statutory Decree.
The committee granting the award has stated, "Within the context of the worsening human rights situation in Turkey, Keskin is once again at the centre of intimidation attempts."
Other finalists are also rights defenders
In addition to Eren Keskin, two other rights defenders have been nominated for the 2019 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.
The other two laureates of the award are Marino Cordoba Berrio from Colombia, who is "a member of the Afro-Colombian ethnic group, leading his community as they faced the loss of their land to powerful commercial interests"; and Abdul Aziz Muhamat from Papua New Guinea/ Australia, who has been "a compelling and tireless advocate for refugee rights".
The jury of the award, which will be awarded in Geneva, Switzerland on February 13, 2019, consists of 10 prominent rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Worldwide Movement for Human Rights (FIDH) and Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International (HURIDOCS).
Attorney Eren Keskin, who was the Chief Editor of the Özgür Gündem newspaper from 2013 to 2016, has been on trial in 143 separate lawsuits, including the one that has been filed against Özgür Gündem, which was closed by a Statutory Decree. She has been facing charges of "degrading the Turkish nation" and "insulting the president".
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