Me Mario Joseph nominated for the 2013 Martin Ennals Award

Since 1994 there have been 19 recipients of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders; one for each year since its inception. The winners have ranged from people to organizations, living and working in many different countries across the world. Titled for Amnesty International's past secretary general, the award isn't so much celebratory, as an investment in the safety of the individuals who, through their work in their home countries and their efforts to defend human rights, find themselves in danger.


The award committee achieves this by giving protection through publicity, through shining light on the issues, and by drawing the attention of the media on the individuals who are often risking their lives while fulfilling their undertakings.

This year, one of the award nominees is Me Mario Joseph, a Haitian lawyer for human rights who is deemed of great importance. His contenders for the award are Joint Mobile Group representing Russia/Chechnya, and Me Mona Seif of Egypt.

Mario Joseph, whose family has been living in the United States, on exile for nearly a decade after numerous threats, had returned to Haiti despite the target on his back for his involvement in such high-profile cases as the one against Duvalier. Having already paid a high price for his beliefs, Joseph is prepared to give more in the furtherance of human rights in Haiti.

To nominees with so much to give, the award hopes to give back to the tune of 20,000 Swiss francs in the aim of assisting the winner of the award and giving support to their work. A jury of 10 organizations for human rights will decide the winner on October 8, 2013 at the ceremony in Geneva.

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