We are delighted to announce that Delphine Dijiraibé (Chad), Feliciano Reyna (Venezuela) and Khurram Pervez (Jammu and Kashmir), have been awarded the 2023 Martin Ennals Award for their outstanding work as human rights defenders. The Jury recognised these three inspiring activists for their exceptional courage to stand up and fight for human dignity and the rights of their communities.
On 16 February 2023, the three Laureates were recognised and celebrated at the Martin Ennals Award Ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.
Meet the Laureates of the 2023 Martin Ennals Award
Delphine Djiraibé – Chad
“Chad is a hostile place for human rights defenders. The authorities believe we are enemies, but as long as there is injustice in Chad, I will be here!”
Delphine Djiraibé is recognised as a pioneer of the human rights movement in Chad. One of the first female lawyers in her country, she serves as a role model for various networks of women’s rights activists in Chad and beyond. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of women and girls and works actively to combat gender-based violence.
The human rights defender fought for more than 20 years to bring Chad’s former dictator, Hissène Habré, to justice, ultimately found guilty of war crimes in 2016. Dijiraibé is determined to fight against impunity and inequality in Chad, most lately with the registration and denunciation of human rights violations of the current government towards its population.
This is her story:
Feliciano Reyna – Venezuela
“In 2016 we walked directly into the complex humanitarian emergency in Venezuela. We were the very first ones to call it that, and to write to the United Nations, and demand action on their part.”
Architect Feliciano Reyna returned from the US to Venezuela, his home country, where he lost his partner, Rafael, to AIDS. Based on this life-changing event, he founded Acción Solidaria in 1995, to promote the rights to healthcare, equality and non-discrimination of Venezuelans living with HIV/AIDS. In a country where corruption and poverty were rapidly increasing and the healthcare system was deteriorating, this became a nationwide operating network. Today he is committed to creating a better nation, raising awareness about human rights violations and the widespread suffering of the Venezuelan people in the unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
This is his story:
Khurram Parvez – Jammu and Kashmir
“The international order does not want to hear us. So, with this recognition, the Martin Ennals Award is actually going against this international tide that brackets Kashmir into silencing through Islamophobia.”
Khurram Parvez grew up in a highly militarised environment, and he witnessed violence and disappearances since he was a child in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. This only led him to commit with a deep desire for peace in his home. For the last 20 years, Khurram has played a frontline role in the human rights movement in Kashmir. Through the documentation of unmarked mass graves in the region, he is recognised for his evidence-based advocacy work and campaigns.
Throughout the years, Khurram was repeatedly harassed and attacked by the authorities of India. Unfortunately, he was arbitrarily detained under politically motivated charges in 2017 as a clear attempt to stop him from denouncing human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is his story:
Martin Ennal Award Ceremony 2023
At the event, the altruistic efforts of Delphine Djiraibé, Feliciano Reyna and Khurram Parvez in strengthening the human rights movement were recognised and celebrated.
Watch the full ceremony here:
Speakers at the 2023 Award Ceremony included:
- Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Mauro Poggia, President of the State Council
- Isabel de Sola, Director of the Martin Ennals Foundation
- Philippe Currat, Chair of the Board of the Martin Ennals Foundation
- Hans Thoolen, Chair of the Jury
- Alfonso Gomez, Vice President of the City of Geneva
- Feliciano Reyna, 2023 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award
- Delphine Kemneloum Djiraibé, 2023 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award
- Mohammed Ashrafuzzaman, Campaign Manager, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (accepting the award on behalf of Khurram Parvez)
- Catherine Sommer, Master of Ceremony, Journalist and Producer
- Alice Mogwe, President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Director of DITSHWANELO – the Botswana Centre for Human Rights
- Miguel Oural, Chairman of the Geneva Bar Association (ODAGE)
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 2023 Martin Ennals Award, visit the Martin Ennals Award website.