Get inspired by the courage of the Laureates of the 2022 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders

On 2 June 2022, Pham Doan Trang, Daouda Dialo and Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja were honoured for their unwavering commitment to defending the human rights of others. Get inspired by their stories of courage and unfailing hope.


The 2022 Martin Ennals Award Ceremony honouring and celebrating Pham Doan Trang, Daouda Dialo and Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja was held on 2 June 2022 at the Salle Communale de Plainpalais in Geneva, Switzerland. To tell their stories, three moving short films about the Laureates were screened at the ceremony.

Portrait of Pham Doan Trang

“I write because I genuinely want to write, and I hope that I may help to change their minds about society. If a country’s institutions are wrong, they create a bad political culture and damage the people’s values. I want to change those institutions so that Vietnamese people can live a life they deserve.”
–Pham Doan Trang, Laureate of the 2022 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders

In Vietnam, the Communist Party rules absolutely and tolerates no dissent. Basic rights such as freedom of opinion, of the press and of assembly, are violated and independent journalists are severely repressed. One of them, Pham Doan Trang, is a fierce democracy advocate and the founder of several leading media outlets in her country.

This is her story.

Portrait of  Dr. Daouda Diallo

“My engagement in human rights gives me an immense satisfaction. Because I realise together with my team, we manage to rescue victims of violence, victims of humanitarian disasters.  I am very eager to save human lives, to save human dignity.”
–Dr. Daouda Diallo, Laureate of the 2022 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders

Burkina Faso is one of the world’s most fragile states, where fighting between Islamist insurgencies, government forces, and local militias has provoked a fast growing humanitarian crisis since 2015. Human rights abuses are committed by all parties to the conflict but are hardly ever reported. A medical professional, Dr. Daouda Diallo is committed to the defence of human rights and the promotion of peace in his country. 

This is his story.

Portrait of Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaj

“I tried very much to ask the community, my family, my friends, not to concentrate on me as a person, or my release, but to concentrate on the main goal: the people’s rights.”
–Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaj, Laureate of the 2022 Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders

The Kingdom of Bahrain has been ruled with an iron fist by the Al Khalifa dynasty since the 18th century. Any form of dissent is severely repressed by the authorities. Opposition groups are banned, and no independent media are permitted to operate. Over 30 years, Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaj campaigned for greater political and civil liberties in his country. He is one of the early architects of the human rights movement in the Gulf. 

This is his story.

Martin Ennals Award Ceremony 2022

During the ceremony, the selfless contributions to the human rights movement by Pham Doan Trang, Daouda Dialo and Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja were honoured and celebrated. The event also included a special, posthumous homage to Father Stan Swamy, to shine a light on his many contributions to human rights in India.

Speakers at the 2022 Award Ceremony included:

  • Catherine Sommers, Master of Ceremony, journalist and producer
  • Philippe Currat, Chair of the Board of the Martin Ennals Foundation
  • Bùi Thị Căn, mother of Pham Doan Trang
  • Quynh Vi Tran, Legal Initiatives for Vietnam (LIV) and journalist
  • Will Nguyen, Vietnamese human rights defender
  • Alfonso Gomez, Member of the Executive, City of Geneva
  • Dr. Daouda Diallo, 2022 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award
  • Hans Thoolen, Chair of the Martin Ennals Award Jury
  • Khadijah Almousawi, wife of Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja
  • Maryam Al-Khawaja, Bahraini human rights activist and daughter of Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja
  • Isabel de Sola, Director of the Martin Ennals Foundation
  • Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Father Xavier Soreng, Xavier Institute of Social Sciences, who paid a special tribute to Father Stan Swamy from India

The independent Jury of the Martin Ennals Award is made up of representatives of ten of the world’s leading human rights organisations. HURIDOCS is a proud member of the jury, alongside Amnesty International, Bread for the World, International Commission of Jurists, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, World Organisation against Torture and International Service for Human Rights.

To find out more about the 2022 Martin Ennals Award, read our blog post or visit the Martin Ennals Award website

Nominations for the Martin Ennals Award 2023

Nominations are now open for the Martin Ennals Award 2023. The deadline to present candidates for the Award is 31 July 2022, and more information about the nomination process is available here

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