Thursday, April 21, 2011
The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns will present three human rights awards today.
The Human Rights Defenders Award recognizes individuals or non-governmental organizations who show exceptional valor and leadership in advocating the protection of human rights and democracy in the face of government repression. The U.S. State Department will honor the Cuban nongovernmental organization Damas de Blanco – “Ladies in White” for its visible, consistently observed vigils focusing international attention not only on political prisoners, but the overall human rights situation in Cuba.
Ambassador Stephen Beecroft of U.S. Embassy Amman will receive the Diplomacy for Human Rights Award for his extraordinary commitment to defending human rights and advancing democratic principles in Jordan. His advocacy has created new opportunities to engage the government on a broad range of human rights issues, with progress on both individual cases and systematic reform.
The Human Rights and Democracy Achievement Award will be presented to Christian Marchant of U.S. Embassy Hanoi for outstanding work to prevent torture and defend the rights of Vietnam’s dissidents, and Holly Lindquist Thomas of U.S. Embassy Tashkent for superb reporting underscoring issues of child labor during the cotton harvest and key contributions to diplomatic engagement in support of civil society and human rights activists in Uzbekistan.
(Adapted from a U.S. State Dept. press release)