Pakistan's Sammi Deen Baloch receives int'l award for human rights activism

"It is an honour for me that my struggle has been recognised at the global level," says human rights activist

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Pakistans Sammi Deen Baloch receives intl award for human rights activism
Pakistani activist Sammi Deen Baloch gestures as she holds the award in Dublin, Ireland, on May 31, 2024. — X/@SammiBaluch

Pakistani activist Sammi Deen Baloch has been honoured with the Front Line Defenders Award 2024 in Dublin, Ireland, for raising her voice on human rights issues in the South Asian nation.

Front Line Defenders announced the five winners of its top distinction, the 2024 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, at a special ceremony in Dublin on Friday.

"It is an honour for me that my struggle has been recognised at the global level. It is very difficult to fight for human rights in Pakistan, but it is vital," Baloch told Geo News from Dublin, as she vowed to continue her struggle.

The annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk was established in 2005 to honour the work of HRDs who are courageously making outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.

The Award focuses international attention on the work and struggles of HRDs, providing a greater national and international platform to speak about and advocate for the human rights issues they are defending. 

Laureates are selected from among scores of candidates which are put forward in a secure, public nomination process carried out towards the end of each year and Award winners are announced on the day of the Award Ceremony in Dublin usually in May the following year. 

Baloch, hailing from Balochistan's Awaran and the General Secretary of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), was selected from Asia and the Pacific.

Four other award receivers include — Africa: Gamito dos Santos Carlos of AJOPAZ, the Youth Association for Peace (Mozambique); Americas: The Trans women collective Muñecas de Arcoíris (Honduras), represented by Jennifer Bexara Córdova; Europe and Central Asia: Doros Polykarpou of KISA (Cyprus); Middle East and North Africa: We Are Not Numbers (Gaza, Palestine), represented by Ahmed Alnaouq.

In a post on X, Baloch said she dedicates the award to Baloch women. "I hold the utmost respect for their tireless struggle. I also share this award with human rights activists across the world who are fighting for human rights and dignity, truth and justice."

She added, "I will continue to fight for the safe release of all the missing persons including my father."

Baloch further said: "Alongside my fellow human rights defenders, Baloch women, and the families of missing persons, I will continue to demand justice for the victims and their families. I will persist in my peaceful struggle against enforced disappearances and fight for the release of all missing persons."