Washington, DC: Portuguese Member of European Parliament Ana Gomes nominates Bahraini human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters, Zainab and Maryam al-Khawaja for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment to pursuing peaceful democratic reforms and respect for human rights in Bahrain.
Maran Turner, Executive Director of Freedom Now welcomed the al-Khawaja family’s nomination. “We are so pleased Ms. Gomes has chosen to honor the al-Khawaja family’s work defending human rights in Bahrain and seeking a peaceful political solution to the country’s on-going unrest by nominating them for the Nobel Peace Prize. It is our hope that the nomination will draw greater attention to Mr. al-Khawaja’s continued unjust detention and galvanize support for a political resolution in which the rights of all Bahraini citizens are respected.”
Bahraini authorities arrested Mr. al-Khawaja in April 2011 days after he gave a speech in Manama’s Pearl Roundabout criticizing the government’s crackdown on peaceful protesters. He was sentenced to life in prison on fabricated security-related charges. While in detention, Mr. al-Khawaja has been subjected to torture and deplorable treatment. Mr. al-Khawaja’s daughters Zainab and Maryam have bravely continued to call for peaceful political reform in Bahrain and hold the Bahraini government accountable for human rights violations despite public smear campaigns against them and the continued threat of arrest.
Freedom Now represents Mr. al-Khawaja as his international pro bono counsel.