INSTITUT DES DROITS DE L'HOMME DU BARREAU DE
INSTITUT DES DROITS DE
L'HOMME DU BARREAU DE BRUXELLES
INSTITUT DES DROITS DE
L'HOMME DU BARREAU DE PARIS
INSTITUT DES DROITS DE L'HOMME DES AVOCATS
UNIONE FORENSE PER LA TUTELA DEI DIRITTI
Internacional de Derechos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2009
Internacional de Direitos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2009
Internazionale per i Diritti Umani Ludovic Trarieux 2009
Ludovic Trarieux Internationale Mensenrechtenprijs 2009
"The international award given by Lawyers to a
First African Prize Winner since Nelson Mandela jailed in 1985.
Ludovic-Trarieux International Human
Rights Prize 2009
Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa from Zimbabwe, a lawyer devoted to
defending the rights of freedom of the press in her country, received at the
Bar Association in Paris, the 14th INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LUDOVIC-TRARIEUX
2009 AWARD for her trailblazing role in defending freedom of peaceful assembly ,
of association and freedom of speech and the rule of law in
Paris. Maison du
Barreau. 29 October 2009 .
I would like to thank
the organizers of this event and those responsible for my selection as the 2009
recipient of this prestigious award.
My nomination for this
award demonstrates that the defence of human rights knows no culture, language
barriers, continental locations or other differences. My nomination therefore serves to confirm the
universality of human rights and those who argue, particularly in Africa, that
Human Rights are a Eurocentric concept do so from a perspective where they want
Africans to enjoy a lesser standard of human rights than their counterparts
I would like to accept
this award on behalf of all human rights defenders in Zimbabwe and to say that
I hope that it will help inspire us into greater heights despite the upsurge in
the harassing of civil society activists and human rights defenders in recent
weeks. I would also like to thank all of
you and your various Bars and Law Societies for the support that human rights
defenders have received in Zimbabwe.
Without your support, our job would have been that more difficult.
I would also like to
thank my family, particularly my daughter who is here with me today, for
enduring all those sleepless nights and seeing my body bruised from time to
time. Awards like this and also having
victims’ rights restored all make the work worthwhile.
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) and the European
Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) whose members are the biggest european
law societies fighting for human rights such as The Union Internationale des Avocats
(UIA), Rechtsanwaltskammer 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.
1985: Nelson MANDELA (South
1992: Augusto ZÚÑIGA PAZ (Peru) †
1994: Jadranka CIGELJ
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
2004: Akhtam NAISSE (Syria)
2005: Henri BURIN DES ROZIERS (Brazil)
2006: Parvez IMROZ (India)
2007 : René GÓMEZ MANZANO (Cuba)
2008 : U AYE MYINT (Burma)