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Ludovic-Trarieux International-Human Rights Prize 2015

Prix International des Droits de l'Homme Ludovic-Trarieux 2015

Premio Internacional de Derechos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2015

Premio Internazionale per i Diritti Umani Ludovic Trarieux 2015

Internationalen Ludovic-Trarieux-Menschenrechtspreis 2015

Prêmio Internacional de Direitos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2015

Ludovic Trarieux Internationale Mensenrechtenprijs 2015


Depuis/Since/Desde/Dal/Sinds 1984


“L’hommage des avocats à un avocat ”

“The award given by lawyers to a lawyer”

“El homenaje de abogados a un abogado

“L'omaggio degli avvocati ad un avvocato”

“Die Hommage von Anwälten zu einem Anwalt”

« De award gegeven door advocaten een advocaat »




The XXth "Ludovic-Trarieux" Human Rights International Prize 2015


 awarded to



Waleed Abu al-Khair

(Saudi Arabia)

 Ludovic-Trarieux Prizewinner 2015

« sentenced to  to 15 years in prison under the January 2014  terrorism law. … »


The XXth "Ludovic-Trarieux" Human Rights International Prize 2015

A Jury composed of 21 european lawyers coming from the bars of Paris, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Luxemburg, Roma, together with the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA)  meeting in Amsterdam Bar Association Office on June 12th  2015, awarded the 20th Ludovic trarieux Human Rights Prize to Saudi lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair.


Waleed Abu Al-Khair is the founder of the Monitor of Human Rights inSaudi Arabia (MHRSA) was last year handed a 15-year sentence on six charges by a specialized court in connection with his work.


Waleed Abu Al-Khair has long campaigned for reforms in the conservative kingdoms through the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA) organisation he founded. Currently in jail himself, he represented his brother-in-law prominent blogger Badawi who has been jailed for 10 years and sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam.


The sentence was met by worldwide condemnation and Badawi, 31, has already received the first 50 lashes outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on January 9. Subsequent rounds of punishment have been postponed.


The prize will be handed over at a ceremony in Geneva on 27 November 2015.


Waleed Abu Al-Khair is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA).


 Waleed Abu Al-Khair, who is harassed fot several years, was involved in multiple ongoing court proceedings. Relating to these separate charges, Waleed Abu Al-Khair is banned from travelling outside the country was in place. On 2 October 2013, Saudi authorities detained prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair for setting up an alleged “unauthorized” gathering because had been hosting a forum to exchange ideas with other reformists, known as a "diwaniah", at his home in the western city of Jeddah. He has since been transferred for further questioning to the interrogation office by the Public Prosecutor of Jeddah city, but he has been released on bail on October 3th.


On 29 October 2013, a Jeddah court sentenced Waleed Abu Al-Khairi to three months’imprisonment for signing a public statement critical of the regime. He announced that he will appeal the verdict. The three-month sentence was in relation to Waleed Abu Al-Khair's signature on a public statement “condemning the trials against Jeddah Reformists, and the events in Qutayef.” The statement was signed by academics and activists and posted online on 5 December 2012. The inquiry into other signatories was closed after they issued an apology, which Waleed Abu Al-Khair refused to do. On February 4, 2014, the Court of Appeals in Mekkah, approved a 3-month sentence for charges of contempt of the judiciary against. However, Waleed Abu al-khair remained free.


Abu al-Khair’s trial before the Specialized Criminal Court – Saudi Arabia’s terrorism tribunal – opened in October 2013. The authorities jailed him on April 15, 2014, following his fifth trial session after the interior minister issued a detention order under the January 2014 terrorism law. The law gives the Interior Ministry the authority to jail suspects in terrorism cases. Abu al-Khair refused to respond to the charges against him during the trial. He referred instead to a hand-written note he submitted to the judge declaring that he did not recognize the legitimacy of the court.


There are numerous irregularities in the trial of Abu Al-Khair. At the hearing on 9 September, the Public prosecutor handed over to the court a flash memory drive without declaring its contents, in addition to a copy of a statement about the trial of Jeddah reformists and the events of Qatif issued on 5 December 2011 and signed by Abu Al-Khair on behalf of the group, Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA), which he heads.



On July 6, 2014, the court sentenced Waleed Abu al-Khair to 15 years in prison. The court found Abu al-Khair guilty on six charges: “seeking to remove legitimate authority;” “harming public order in the state and its officials;” “inflaming public opinion and disparaging and insulting judicial authority;” “publicly slandering the judiciary, distorting the kingdom’s reputation, making international organizations hostile to the kingdom, and issuing unverified statements that harm the kingdom’s reputation and incite against it and alienate it;” “founding an unlicensed organization;” and violating Saudi Arabia’s anti-cybercrime law.


The court suspended five years of the sentence, but it also included a 15-year ban on travel abroad after the prison term is served and a hefty fine, of 200,000 riyals ( 46 957 €). Following the court hearing, Abu al-Khair’s organization announced that he will not sign or appeal the verdict. But Public Prosecutor has appealed the primary sentence at the Court of Appeal in Riyadh, as he had not retreated or apologized to the court.


On 12 January 2015, the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh removed the suspension and sentenced Waleed Abu Al-Khair to serve the full sentence of 15 years in prison. Throughout the hearing his legs were shackled.


On 4 February 2015, authorities transferred him for the sixth time of his imprisonment to former Ha'ir prison reform. On April 18, 2015, Abu Al-Khair, who faces continued harassment in prison, lodged a complaint to the prison administration regarding beatings happened on the same day. To date the complaint has not been considered. On April 21, 2015, as retaliation for lodging the complaint, Abu Al-Khair, was beaten, threatened and insulted by another prisoner in Al-Ha’ir rehabilitation prison in Riyadh, where he has been detained since his transfer from Malaz prison on February 4, 2015. Later on, policemen came to the cell of Abu Al-Khair and threw all his belongings on the ground, searching for prohibited items.


On 6 July 2014, he had received the primary sentence of 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, and a travel ban of equal duration as well as a fine of 200,000 SR. (approximately $53,300).The Public Prosecutor has appealed the primary sentence at the Court of Appeal in Riyadh, which said that he should serve the entire 15 years sentence, as he had not retreated or apologized to the court.









Bâtonnier Germ Kemper  

Bâtonnier Bertrand Favreau 

Bâtonnier Jean-Marie Burguburu 

Bâtonnier Yves Oschinsky

Bâtonnier Pierre Sculier 

Adrie van de Streek 

Hans Gaasbeek 

Brigitte Azema-Peyret 

Frédéric Krenc

Isabelle Bühler Galladé

Arnaud Moutinot

Marc Joory 

Pascal Venderveren  

Julie Goffin 

Christophe Pettiti

Nicole Derhy

Laurence Azoux-Bacrie

Zbigniew Cichon

Marie-France Guet

François Moyse 

Bernd Haüsler 


“The tribute given by lawyers to a lawyer”


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 given 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), Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin, the Bar of Luxemburg, the Bar of Geneva, the Bar of Amsterdam as well as the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) whose members are the biggest european law societies fighting for human rights. It is presented every year in a city that is home to one of the member Institutes.


1985: Nelson MANDELA (South Africa)

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)

2008 : U AYE MYINT (Burma)

2009 : Beatrice MTETWA (Zimbabwe)

2010 : Karinna MOSKALENKO (Russia)

2011 : Fethi TERBIL (Libya)

2012 : Muharrem ERBEY (Turkey)

2013 : Vadim KURAMSHIN (Kazakhstan)

2014 : Mahienour el-MASSRY (Egypt)





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