By . . .[restrict]Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 11 August:
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has honoured one of its key informants during the last six years of Qaddafi’s rule with its top award.
Salah Marghani, the Tripoli-based human rights activist and lawyer, has been honoured with HRW’s prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. Marghani, co-founder of MTL Law, gave HRW key information about human rights abuses, as well as representing political prisoners, such as the writer and political commentator Jamal al-Hajji.
In a statement HRW said it “honours Salah Marghani for his commitment to revealing the truth and pressing for freedoms in Libya both in the past and today.”
Marghani, the former head and a current member of Libyan Human Rights Violations Detection Group, has pressed on with his campaign for justice since the Revolution, seeking to hold the NTC & interim government to account, including a successful challenge to an NTC law that undermined freedom of speech.
The Libyan Human Rights Violations Detection Group continues to work on documenting abuses by both pro- and anti-Qaddafi forces, visiting prisons, investigating allegations of torture and compiling reports that seek to expose and end human rights abuses.
HRW have been working with Marghani since 2005, when the organisation was first allowed into Libya. Since then, he has played an important role in the exposure of human rights abuses, before and during the Revolution.
HRW said: “He acted as a key interlocutor during last year’s war, putting us in touch with victims and activists who had escaped Qaddafi’s forces. Since Qaddafi’s fall, Marghani has continued to serve as a tireless monitor and principled critic of Libya’s human rights record.”
The Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism recognises and celebrates the valour of individuals who risk their lives to protect the dignity and rights of others. Alison Des Forges, senior advisor to HRW Africa division for nearly 20 years, died in a plane crash in 2009. The annual awards honour her commitment to, and defence of, human rights.
Previous recipients of the honour include Tunisian journalist and human rights activist Sihem Bensedrine , along with Hossam Bahgat, founder and director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights who played a prominent role in Egypt’s 2011 revolution.
Abbe Benoit Kinalegu, a human rights defender and activist from the Democratic [/restrict]