Iraqi activist wins Norway's Rafto human rights prize

Activist Yanar Mohammed was Thursday awarded Norway's 2016 Rafto Prize for her "work on behalf of women and minorities in war-torn Iraq."

The 55-year-old journalist and researcher heads the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), which she founded in 2003. It works with local groups to teach about human rights and offers shelter to victims of militia groups and others.

"Sexual violence is often part of battle plans, and Iraq is just one of many places where women's rights are sacrificed for political and military objectives," the Rafto jury said.

Mohammed raised this also when she adressed the UN Security Council in October 2015.

Worth 20,000 dollars, the prize was created in 1986 in memory of Thorolf Rafto, a Norwegian academic and human rights activist, and is administered by the Rafto foundation.

Last year, Honduran Catholic priest Ismael Moreno Coto won the award.

Previous Rafto Prize winners include Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, both of whom later became Nobel laureates.

Last update: Thu, 29/09/2016 - 12:30

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