These people are different as chalk and cheese. They work in various spheres and directions. However, they have one thing in common: despite difficult living conditions these activists are ready to fight for their rights.

 

Lina Ben Mhenni

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Lina Ben Mhenni  is a Tunisian Internet activist and blogger. Her blog is written in tree languages: Arabic, French and English. Unlike many other bloggers, Mhenni uses not a pseudonym, but real name. However, her blog and social accounts were censored under the Ben Ali regime.

In her battle against censorship and for human rights in Tunisia, at the age of 29 Ben Mhenni was at the top of the nominees list for Nobel Prize for Peace in 2013. She started her journey for civil rights long before the uprising of her country through her blog Tunisian Girl where she reports in French, English and Arabic.

Ben Mhenni was the only blogger present in the interior cities of Kasserine and Regueb when government forces massacred and suppressed protesters in the region.  Since the Tunisian Revolution started, Ben Mhenni has continued to play a prominent role amongst Tunisia’s bloggers and democracy activists, speaking out against continuing corruption in the Tunisian regime, against the “double discourse” of Ennahda, and demanding the release of Alaa Abdel-Fatah upon his arrest in October 2011. In an editorial for CNN, she wrote that her activism after Ben Ali’s overthrow has led to her receiving death threats and requiring close protection of the police.

 

Karman Tawakkol

 

Karman was the first Yemeni and Arab woman, who has been rewarded for the Nobel Prize. Being a journalist, human rights activist and politician, Karman is the leader of the renowned group “Women Journalists Without Chains,” which calls for civil rights, freedom of expression and provides media skills to journalists.

She became the international public face of the Yemeni “Arab Spring” uprising in 2011. The people of Yemen know her as the “Iron Woman” and “Mother of the Revolution” due to her courage in sticking up for human rights injustices in Yemen.

 

Waleed Abulkhair

 

Waleed Abulkhair is a head Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA) and a human rights activist currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

The activist launched a statement entitled “Features of a Constitutional Monarchy,” which advocated for human rights and democracy. For this work Abulkhair was arrested and jailed. Several months later, Abul khair was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, followed by 15 years of ban on travel.

In his works, Abulkhair defended many individuals seeking to express their views, and advanced a more democratic state. In March 2012, the activist was nominated by the US State Department to attend an extensive course for six-week titled “Democratic leaders” at Syracuse University in New York sponsored by the US State Department, but the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in Jeddah summoned him and told him that he was banned from traveling.

 

Razan Zaitouneh

 

Razan Zaitouneh is a Syrian human rights lawyer and civil society activist. She is also the founder of The Violations Documentation Centre and Local Development and Small Projects Support which are independent non-governmental organizations responsible for documenting human rights violation in Syria.

Actively involved in the Syrian uprising, she went into hiding after being accused by the government of being a foreign agent and her husband was arrested. In December 2013, pro-opposition websites reported that Zaitouneh was kidnapped along with her husband, Wael Hamadeh, and two colleagues, Samira Khalil and Nazem Hammadi, in the opposition-held town of Douma to the north of Damascus. As of December 2015, their whereabouts were still unknown and the identity of the kidnappers uncertain, although it was suspected that the Islamist Salafi rebel group Army of Islam was responsible.

 

Nimah Ismail Nawwab

 

A Saudi activist and internationally recognized poet. Nimah’s poems often raise socially significant topics such as women rights, freedom, life in Arabia , wars, death and life/ the younger generation and universal issues have been published online and in print.

After a long standing interest in English and Arabic classic poetry, Nimah has become familiar with modern verse and Polish, Chilean, Latino and African American poets’ whose influence has added another dimension to her pieces.

“Venturing into poetry is an exciting and thought-provoking adventure.” said Nimah at a presentation she gave on poetry during a Career Day at Effat College in Jiddah, on the west coast of Arabia . “It is a journey into a dazzling realm of imagery, rhythm, music, style and words, giving us a chance to pause during our everyday lives and to deliberate on the broader issues of humanity.”

 

Heba Morayef

 

Heba Morayef is an Egypt-based researcher for Human Rights Watch. There she documented human rights abuse, investigated trends and publicized reports about violations. Her articles were published in several international publications such as Foreign Policy, the Times, the International Herald Tribune and others.  In 2013, she was named as a Power Woman by Forbes and was counted as one of the 100 most influential people by a poll in Time Magazine.

Morayef took part in the protect on 9 March: the march in city streets and squares across the country, calling for President Mohammed Morsi to resign. At least 85 demonstrators were arrested, because the military wants to intimidate people not to protest on the street.

Those 9 March detainees were young people, whose demands of the revolution weren’t being fulfilled. Being in prison, they often write letters to Morayef. In one of them there were these words: “As long as there is hope, nothing is impossible.”

 

Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Roken

 

Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Roken is an Emirati lawyer and political activist who was incarcerated because of his human rights activities and his representation of other Emirati political opposition figures.

Al-Roken had defended members of al-Islah, a nonviolent political opposition group, on a pro bono basis, including those whom authorities had stripped of their Emirati citizenship. In 2011 he served as co-defense counsel for two of the activists, known as the UAE 5, who were imprisoned for seven months prosecuted for allegedly posting statements on an internet forum critical of the UAE’s leaders and government policies. Government authorities have long prevented al-Rukn from lecturing at Al Ain University due to his outspoken views on the UAE government. On May 27th 2017, he was designated as the prizewinner of the 22nd Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize.

 

Razan Ghazzawi

 

Razan Ghazzawi is an award winning Syrian blogger, campaigner and human rights activist. During the Syrian Civil War, she openly spoke about activists’ arrests and the violations of human rights committed by the Bashar al Assad regime.

Being arrested several times, Razan got the name an “iconic blogger and leading activist” by The Telegraph as well as awarded the 2012’s Human Rights Defenders at Risk award by the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders foundation.

Ghazzawi is a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights. Using social media, she talks about double standards of Palestinian resistance groups that have expressed support of the Syrian regime.

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