histoire du Prix

Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize 2007

Prix International des droits de l'homme Ludovic-Trarieux 2007

Premio Internacional de Derechos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2007

Internationalen Ludovic-Trarieux-Menschenrechtspreis 2007

Prêmio Internacional de Direitos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2007

Premio Internazionale per i Diritti Umani Ludovic Trarieux 2007

Ludovic Trarieux Internationale Mensenrechtenprijs 2007

Since 1984

The international  tribute by Lawyers to a Lawyer


histoire du Prix


René Gómez Manzano


Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights

Prize Winner 2007



The Jury composed of 21 lawyers * (See below) awarded the 12th “LUDOVIC-TRARIEUX  INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE “for 2007  on Friday May 11th   2007 to

Cuban lawyer

René Gómez Manzano (See biography below)



René de Jesús Gómez Manzano, 63 years-old, is a lawyer who has worked for years defending cases involving human rights violations. In 1990, he created the Corriente Agramontista de Abogados Cubanos, an independent professional organization of lawyers in Cuba, that seeks to reform Cuba’s judicial system from within by requiring the Cuban government to obey its own laws and will to litigate political cases against the state. Its 1991 manifesto calls for the establishment of a developed rule of law, an independent judiciary, and the democratisation and decentralization of the system of state run law offices.


Since August 1990, René Gómez Manzano has repeatedly sought registration from the Ministry of Justice for a group of independent lawyers, named first the Unión Agramontista, Agramontist Union, and subsequently Corriente Agramontista, Agramontist Current. The group is mainly made up of lawyers who have been willing to take on political cases. The registration request has received no response in over five years except for one reply providing details of requirements.


He has openly criticized irregularities in court proceedings, and has been arrested and detained many times with no charges brought against him. He has tried to register the organization as an independent law office responsible only to its clients and not the Cuban government. This request has been ignored, and meetings have been disrupted or prevented from taking place.


Under Cuban law, lawyers, who are all employed by the state are members of colectivos, collective law offices, organized and supervised by the Ministry of Justice. In October 1995, he is one of the founders of the "Concilio Cubano", a coalition of unofficial groups, including political parties and organizations of lawyers, journalists, women and trade unionists. In October 1995, René Gómez Manzano was expelled from the lawyers collective he belonged to after writing a letter criticizing the leadership of the National Assembly of Lawyers' Collectives. The reason given for the dismissal was that his behaviour "did not concord with official policy" and was alleged to be "incompatible with his participation in the lawyers' collective". During the second half of February he was arrested with dozens of members of the coalition.


In 1997, Gómez was awarded the International Human Rights Award from the American Bar Association Section of Litigation but he could not attend the Ceremony award. One week earlier, on July 16th, 1997, René Gómez Manzano together with two economists, and an engineer - Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello, Vladimiro Roca Antúnez and Félix Bonné Carcassés were arrested, charged with "counter-revolutionary" activities by the Cuban government, following their involvement in publishing a document in June 1997, called "La patria es de todos" (The Homeland is for Everyone), critical of the human rights and economic performance of the Castro regime and calling for reforms.


The imprisoned activists became known as the “Group of Four”, all members of the "Grupo de Trabajo de la Disidencia Interna para el Análisis de la situación Socio-Económica Cubana ", Internal Dissidence Working Group, wrote the document to respond to an official Cuban Communist Party discussion document, that was supposed to foster discussion. It urged the Cuban government to hold democratic elections, liberalize the economy, and improve human rights.


They were formally charged with sedition in September 1998. After imprisoning the four leaders of the Dissident Working Group for 19 months, the Cuban government finally conducted a quick " trial " in March 1999, almost two years after their arrest. Gómez Manzano and Bonne received four-year terms, and Roque received a three-and-a-half year term.Roca received a five-year term. René Gómez Manzano was also prohibited from practicing law for five years.


René Gómez Manzano, has declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. The unjust imprisonment elicited a wave of international condemnation. Gómez Manzano was “conditionally released” in May 2000 . Although, he continued his political advocacy out of jail. Gómez Manzano was one of the organizers of an unprecedented gathering of opponents of the Cuban government in Havana on May 20, 2005 bringing together over 100 representatives of Cuba’s pro-democracy movement.


On July 22, 2005, Cuban authorities arrested 33 dissidents accused of preparing to attend a demonstration in front of the French Embassy in Havana to demand greater European attention to the plight of political prisoners in Cuba. The group had picked the French Embassy for its rally to encourage Paris to keep pressure on Cuba to free 61 dissidents imprisoned in the 2003 crackdown that led to EU diplomatic sanctions.


Cuban authorities have freed dissidents detained but René Gómez Manzano ( in spite the fact je was not supposed to attend the meeting  in front of the French Embassy),  a journalist and a political activist, were jailed in a high security quarter at Villa Clara prison, facing charges under repressive legislation, known as Law 88 (the Ley de Protección de la Independencia Nacional y la Economía de Cuba, Law for the Protection of the National Independence and Economy of Cuba), calling for seven to 15 years' imprisonment for passing information to the U.S. government (whether directly or indirectly), to collaborate with foreign media, or to possess, reproduce, or spread "subversive" documents. Gomez Manzano had undertaken two hunger strikes during his time behind bars to protest his illegal jailing - one for three days, and another for eight days. In both cases, prison authorities administered intravenous fluids to keep him alive.


René Gómez Manzano was unexpectedly released on 8th February 2007 from prison after being held for 19 months without being charged.


Background information


Freedom of expression and association is severely restricted in Cuba. Members of unofficial political and human rights groups have regularly been subjected to intimidation when exercising their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association.

On April 12th, 2007, Rolando Jiménez Posada, a lawyer a rrested during the government’s crackdown of March 2003 (Group of 75) and accused of disrespecting the figure of Fidel Castro, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in a secret trial without a defense lawyer present. On 17 April 2007, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello has reportedly been threatened and harassed by people claiming to be from the security forces, because of her political activities.


For more :  René GOMEZ MANZANO




Created in 1984, the "International Human Rights Prize Ludovic-Trarieux” is awarded to " a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who thoroughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form ".


It is the oldest and most prestigious award reserved to a lawyer in the world, commemorating the memory of the French lawyer, Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), who in the midst of the Dreyfus Affair, in France, in 1898, founded the " League for the Defence of Human Rights and the Citizen ", because, he said: " It was not only the single cause of a man which was to be defended, but behind this cause, law, justice, humanity ".


The first Prize was awarded on March 29th, 1985 to Nelson Mandela then in jail. It was officially presented to his daughter, Zenani Mandela Dlamini, on April 27th 1985, in front of forty presidents of Bars and Law Societies from Europe and Africa. It was the first award given to Mandela in France and the first around the world given by lawyers. On February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela was released. Since then, it was decided that the Prize would be awarded again.


Since 2003, the Prize is awarded every year in partnership by the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, the Human Rights Institute of the Bar of Paris, the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Brussels, l'Unione forense per la tutela dei diritti dell'uomo (Roma) and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) whose members are the biggest european law societies fighting for human rights such as The Law Society of England and Wales, Rechtsanwaltskamme Berlin, Ordre français des Avocats du barreau de Bruxelles, barreau de Luxembourg or Polish National Council of the Bar (Warsaw). It is presented every year in a city that is home to one of the member Institutes.


Prize Winners list is the following :


1985: Nelson MANDELA (South Africa) then in jail.

1992: Augusto ZÚÑIGA PAZ (Peru)

1994: Jadranka CIGELJ (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

1996 Nejib HOSNI (Tunisia) and Dalila MEZIANE (Algeria).

1998 ZHOU Guoqiang (China)

2000 Esber YAGMURDERELI (Turkey)

2002 Mehrangiz KAR (Iran)

2003 Digna OCHOA and Bárbara ZAMORA (Mexico)

2004: Akhtam NAISSE (Syria)

2005: Henri BURIN DES ROZIERS (Brazil)

2006: Parvez IMROZ (India)

2007: René GÓMEZ MANZANO (Cuba) **



**Award not yet accepted.

According to the regulations of the award, the Prize is regarded as definitively awarded only if the member elected or a member of his family accepts it and comes to receive it at the time of a ceremony from handing-over which is held this year in October 2007  in  Brussels.



* MEMBERS OF JURY 2007 : Bâtonnier Bertrand Favreau, President European Bar Human Rights Institute (Luxembourg), Bâtonnier Robert De Baerdemaeker, (President of the Bar - Bruxelles), Bâtonnier Christian Charrière Bournazel, Bâtonnier désigné (President of the Bar -Paris), Bâtonnier Yves Oschinsky, Dauphin , (Bruxelles), Presidente Mario Lana, Unione Forense per i Diritti Umani (Roma), Bâtonnier J.-Pierre Chantecaille, ( President of the Bar - La Rochelle), Me Christophe Pettiti, IDHAE (Luxembourg), Me Thierry Bontinck, IDHAE (Luxembourg), Me Marie-France Guet, IDHAE (Luxembourg), Me Zbigniew Cichon, (Cracovie), Me Rusen Ergec, (Bruxelles), Me Frédéric Krenc, (Bruxelles), Me Brigitte Azema Peyret, IDHBB (Bordeaux), Me Raymond Blet, IDHBB (Bordeaux), Me Philippe Froin, IDHBB (Bordeaux), Me Hélène Szuberla, IDHBB (Bordeaux), Michel Puechavy, ,IDHBP (Paris), Me Nicole Dehry, IDHBP (Paris), Me Nathalie Korchia, IDHBP (Paris), Me Annapaola Specchio, (Roma),



Top of the page
Top of the page


Send us a message :


Back to homepage