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"My Voice Counts": UNAMI (UNITED NATIONS ASSISTANCE MISSION FOR IRAQ)
Honours Five Iraqi Defenders of Human Rights
Baghdad, 13 December 2012 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, today honoured five Iraqi human rights activists for their achievements during a special ceremony to celebrate International Human Rights Day in Baghdad.
“The tireless efforts of those who campaign for justice, protect and support victims of violence, and work to ensure the political participation of people from all backgrounds, often go unrecognized,” Mr. Kobler said during his speech to guests from the Government of Iraq, the diplomatic community, civil society, and the UN family. “I wish to draw particular attention to those ordinary Iraqis who have made their voices count by working to improve the lives of their fellow citizens,” he said.
The five honorees are from all corners of Iraq and were chosen for their work promoting respect for human rights within the community. They include Mr. Husam Abdullah Ali, a lawyer from Mosul, Ms. Shatha Naji Hussein, who works for women’s empowerment in Baghdad, Mr. Hasan Turan Bahaa Aldin, the current Kirkuk Provincial Council Chairman, Mr. Karazan Abedulfadhel Tawfiq, a volunteer lawyer from Kurdistan, and Mr. Falah Al Alosi of the Al Rafidain Peace Organization, also in Baghdad.
“Our honorees today are all proof that the power of one voice can make a difference to a large number of people,” Mr. Kobler said. “I congratulate them on their important work,” he concluded.
The theme of International Human Rights Day this year is “My Voice Counts”. SRSG Kobler invited all Iraqis to step forward and speak up for human rights, stressing the importance of political inclusion, particularly for marginalized groups and those whose voices often go unheard: women, children people with disabilities and members of ethnic and religious groups. He also called for a refocus on economic and social rights, including access to basic services for all Iraqis, without discrimination.
UNAMI has been celebrating human rights throughout the week at events in its offices in Basra, Kirkuk, and the Kurdistan region.