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Le Prix Ludovic-Trarieux



Prix International des droits de l'homme Ludovic-Trarieux 2005

Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize 2005

Premio Internacional de Derechos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2005

Internationalen Ludovic-Trarieux-Menschenrechtspreis 2005

Prêmio Internacional de Direitos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2005

Premio Internazionale per i Diritti Umani Ludovic Trarieux 2005

Ludovic Trarieux  Internationale Mensenrechtenprijs 2005



“The award given by lawyers to a lawyer ”



Henri Burin des Roziers


75 years old,

a lawyer and a Dominican living and works in Brazil as a lawyer for the Pastoral Land Commission, the body that advocates the human rights of the rural workers

International Human Rights Prize Winner

“Ludovic Trarieux” 2005



The  21 European lawyers members of the Jury of the "LUDOVIC-TRARIEUX INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE » meeting in Paris Bar House on May 23rd, 2005 awarded  the tenth « Ludovic-Trarieux » Prize, created in 1984 (first prize winner Nelson Mandela then in jail) and awarded every  year to a lawyer, to Henri Burin des Roziers, 75 years old, a lawyer and a Dominican. Since 1977, he lives and works in Brazil as a lawyer for the Pastoral Land Commission, the body that advocates the human rights of the rural workers


The Prize was presented on 20th October 2005, in Maison du Barreau in Paris, France.



Henri Burin des Roziers, 75 years old, is a lawyer and a Dominican. Since 1977, he lives and works in Brazil as a lawyer for the Pastoral Land Commission, the body that advocates the human rights of the rural workers. He is also a member of the Peasant Movement without Land (PML), in the remote area of Brazil's Amazon forest, the state of Para. He was accepted as a member of the Ordem dos Advogados de Brasil (OAB) -Brazilian Bar Association since 1954- and he has been working for justice, not only in the cases of rural workers assassinated in the South of Pará, but also he has done considerable work for the poorest classes of society. He has been involved in the agrarian reform in the region, and has denounced the practice of forced labour (slavery), violence, and arbitrary behaviour by the civil police. Also, he has tried to combat the impunity profited by the authorities, by supporting their victims during the trials of those responsible for murders and attacking against trade union and community leaders in the region.


In 1999, he was included , on a list of people "destined for death" which had circulated publicly. At least, five members of PML had been killed recently.


Subsequently, in July 2000, Henri Burin des Roziers was the object of a vast smear campaign

after he had published, under the auspices of the PLC, a file concerning the practices of torture committed by the civil police in the Police Commissariat in the South of the State of Pará. This report, which gave full documentation of 17 cases, had considerable impact at both national and international level, and produced a very violent reaction by the police and the local authorities. Henri Burin des Roziers was investigated by the police both for a homicide case and for libel. He was prosecuted by the government of Pará for libel, and by the former delegate-general of the police of Pará for material and moral damages.


Harassment against Father Burin des Roziers escalated further in December 2000, when the

judge of Xinguara, put him on trial, together with another PLC lawyer Anilson Russi, for taking part in a protest demonstration following the municipal elections in Xinguara, Pará.

Although neither violence nor material damage occurred during this demonstration, these two

lawyers have been accused of incitement to violence, the formation of gangs, insults against the authorities, and sequestration.


In May 2003, Henri Burin des Roziers obtained a jail sentence for three people, including the ex-mayor of Rio Maria (southern Para), responsible for ordering in 1985 the killing of João Canuto de Oliveira. The landowner is between the first in the southern part of Pará State to be convicted and that indicates the breakthrough in the struggle against impunity.


On February 12, 2005, the 74 year old American missionary Dorothy Stang, who worked with the Pastoral Land Commission and whose life was dedicated to protecting the Amazon rain forest and its poor residents, was gunned down at point blank range in the northern rainforest town of Anapu where she worked to advance human rights causes. She was on the same list of people "destined for death” as Henri Burin des Roziers is since 1999. In 2004, she received the “José Carlos Castro award” from the Brazilian Order of Lawyers for her work to promote respect for human rights.


Because he seems to be the next on the black list, Henri Burin des Roziers receives since 23 February 2005, a special protection on demand of the OAB (Brazilian Bar Association).