The Right Livelihood Award Foundation strongly condemns the freezing of 2016 Laureate Mozn Hassan’s assets
Stockholm, 13 January 2017
An Egyptian court has approved a freeze on the assets of 2016 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Mozn Hassan and seized those of her organization Nazra for Feminist Studies with which she shared her award.
“The Right Livelihood Award Foundation strongly condemns the continued harassment of our 2016 Laureate Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies, out of which freezing and seizing assets is only the latest step. We will do everything in our power to support our Laureate and will send a high-level delegation to Cairo in March to present the Right Livelihood Award to her there”, said Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.
An Egyptian court on Wednesday upheld an earlier ruling to freeze the assets of Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies, the organization she founded and directs. The verdict also targeted Mohammed Zaraa and Atef Hafez, both of the Arab Organisation for Criminal Reform.
“The freeze of my assets and those of Nazra for Feminist Studies is utterly ridiculous and outrageous. With this verdict they aim to prevent the work that we do, but we will defy any injustice imposed on us and continue to do what we believe in and are passionate about”, said Mozn Hassan, founder of Nazra for Feminist Studies.
Mozn Hassan has been investigated under Case no. 173 for the year 2011, known as the “NGO Foreign Funding” Case, and was summoned to appear before the investigating judge on 29 March 2016. Since May 2016, she has been under a travel ban by the General Prosecutor’s order. These arbitrary measures have been condemned by three UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights.
Five UN experts earlier condemned the move to freeze Hassan’s and Nazra’s assets, and described it as reinforcing “a pattern of systematic repression of the Egyptian women’s rights movement, aiming to silence and intimidate those working tirelessly for justice, human rights and equality.”
Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies were recognized with the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, in September 2016 for “asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination”.
Hassan was unable to attend the award ceremony in Stockholm on 25 November 2016 due to a travel ban imposed on her by the Egyptian authorities. A high-level delegation will therefore be sent to Cairo to present her with the Right Livelihood Award. The delegation will include European Parliamentarians, fellow Laureates and the Foundation’s Chair Monika Griefahn.
“Celebrating the award in Egypt is an important message to all the world that solidarity can reach you wherever you are, even with a travel ban imposed on you”, said Mozn Hassan.
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About the Right Livelihood Award
The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to “honour and support courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems”. It has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and there are now 166 Laureates from 68 countries. In addition to presenting the annual awards, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation supports its Laureates, particularly those who may be in danger due to the nature of their work. Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German professional philatelist, sold his business to provide the original funding. Since then, the awards have been financed by individual donors. The four 2016 Right Livelihood Award Laureates will share the cash award of SEK 3 million (ca. EUR 320 000).