Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

26 October 2007

Freed journalist donates prize to Amnesty International

Freed journalist donates prize to Amnesty International
A former prisoner of conscience has thanked Amnesty International for helping secure her release from jail by donating a journalism award to the organization.

Serkalem Fasil was freed from an Ethiopian jail in April, following extensive campaigning by human rights NGOs including Amnesty International. Her ordeal was recognized this week when she picked up a Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation.

She has decided to give the prize money to Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists, which also campaigned for her release.

"Human rights was once demonized as alien and subversive in the West… as it is today in nations with dictatorial regimes like that of Ethiopia," said Serkalem Fasil, who attacked the notion that human rights organizations are "western institutions… muddling through non-western societies".

She described her donation as: "A rejection of the manipulation of our national, religious and cultural differences against international human rights organizations. It is also an affirmation of the importance of the work that human rights organizations are doing… I have no doubt about the importance of Amnesty International in this story."

Serkalem Fasil was seized by police in November 2005 for her role as co-publisher of Asqual, Menilik and Satenaw newspapers. AI believes she was detained solely for exercising her right to freedom of expression.

She faced the death penalty if found guilty on charges of treason, outrages against the constitution and incitement to armed conspiracy. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest and gave birth to a baby son in the police hospital, where medical care was grossly deficient.

Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan paid tribute to her courage in the face of grave human rights abuses.

"I am extremely touched by this strong and brave gesture of support for global human rights by a former prisoner of conscience who is still at risk. As requested, we will be allocating this unusual and selfless donation to our international work," said Ms Khan.


Prisoners Of Conscience 





@amnestyonline on twitter


24 October 2014

Equatorial Guinea’s government should reveal the names and the reasons for the arrest of all prisoners set to benefit from the country’s newly announced amnesty on... Read more »

24 October 2014

The dismissive reaction of the Dominican Republic to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ ruling on human rights abuses suffered by Dominicans of Haitian descent and... Read more »

22 October 2014

The release from prison of one of Viet Nam’s most high profile prisoners of conscience is a positive step, but authorities must now free the scores of other peaceful... Read more »

24 October 2014

The decision to authorize the extradition to Russia of Kazakhstani banker and opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov by a french Court of Appeal has set in motion a procedure... Read more »

24 October 2014

The Iranian authorities must stop the execution of a woman due to be hanged tomorrow morning after being convicted for the killing of a man whom she said tried to... Read more »