|Nobel Laureates Honour Afghan recipient of International Human Rights Award|
We, six women Nobel Peace Laureates—Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchu, Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire—are honoured to once again support the Reach All Women In War (RAW) Anna Politkovskaya Award. This award is presented each year to a woman human rights defender from an area of war and conflict, and keeps alive the spirit of Anna Politkovskaya: a woman activist and journalist from Russia whose courageous reports of atrocities against civilians in Chechyna led ultimately to her untimely death exactly two years ago.
betty__williams__malalai_joya_web.jpgThankfully there are courageous women around the world who, like Anna Politkovskaya, are willing to speak truth to power. Malalai Joya—the recipient of this year’s award—is one such woman. The youngest-ever elected member of Afghanistan’s national parliament, Joya has bravely stood up for Afghanistan's citizens. Like Politkovskaya, her outspokenness has come with a high price. She lives under a cloud of death threats, and on several occasions her opponents have even physically assaulted her. In spring of 2007, Joya was indefinitely suspended from Parliament for defending the rights of the Afghan people—this, despite the fact that women from across the country have rallied to her support. Joya continues to speak out for Afghan women, and against the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.
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