Sudanese refugee nominated for rights prize
A Sudanese refugee is one of three people nominated for a prestigious human rights prizes.
The annual Martin Ennals Award recognises the work of human rights defenders at risk of persecution.
Abdul Aziz Muhamat, 26, has been held on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island for five years and the award organisers say he has been “a compelling and tireless advocate for refugee rights”.
According to the Martin Ennals Award, he was granted refugee status in early 2015, but remains on Manus Island, along with several hundred other men who were transferred there after arriving in Australian territory by boat and seeking asylum.
The award jury said Mr Muhamat had documented the allegations of abuse and cruelty they suffer in detention centres.
Quote Message: Aziz is one of the primary public voices among the men held on Manus Island and regularly speaks out on international news media. For two years, he sent over 4,000 thousand voice messages to report on his experience in detention for the multi award-winning podcast, The Messenger.” from Martin Ennals Award
The jury also tweeted this film about why they had nominated him for the prize:
The Jury on Finalist Abdul Aziz Muhamat @Abdulaziz_Ada from Sudan who speaks out from Manus Island where he is detained under Australian offshore detention for seeking asylum .https://t.co/roclYRi0cY pic.twitter.com/7AJZveZun4
— Martin Ennals Award (@martinennals) October 24, 2018
The AFP news agency also quotes the awards organisers as saying: “He has paid a price for this as he is seen as a ‘ring leader.’” Mr Muhumat, whose profile on Twitter says “detained by Australian government for five years, stolen my dreams”, tweeted his thanks to the jury for their recognition:
I would like to thanks the jury’s for recognition & the organisations who have supported our struggles last for 5years.
Life is not a matter of place, things or comfort; it concerns the basic human rights of the refugees, justice & human dignity. Let us protect refugees & Nature https://t.co/nBxRHLxSA5
— Abdul Aziz Adam (@Abdulaziz_Ada) October 24, 2018
The Martin Ennals Award is named after the late British lawyer who became the first head of the human rights organisation, Amnesty International.
The award ceremony will take place in Geneva on 13 February 2019.
Cover photo: Abdul Aziz Muhamat is from Darfur and left Sudan in 2013