Jailed ex-pres awarded “Courageous Award” at Geneva Summit

Former President Nasheed (L) presented the Courageous Award at the Geneva Summit 2017.

Former President Nasheed (L) presented the Courageous Award at the Geneva Summit 2017.

Convicted Former President Mohamed Nasheed was presented the “Courageous Award” at this year’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on Tuesday.

Nasheed was also the appointed leader of this year’s summit, which was organised by the UN Watch jointly with 20 NGOs worldwide. A joint press statement released by the organizations earlier described Nasheed as the world’s most popular anti-government activist and political prisoner.

Held in Geneva, Switzerland on the eve of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s annual session, the main objective of the Geneva Summit is to address the current issues of human rights around the world.

Joining Nasheed at the summit to “demand that the 34th UN Human Rights Council session address the world’s most dire human rights situations” were several other political activists including recently-released political prisoners and representatives of jailed prisoners. Prominent figures include Nyima Lhamo, an escaped Tibetan activist, Zhanna Nemtsova, a journalist and daughter of former Russian Prime Minister Boris Nemstov who was assassinated for dissidence, Can Dundar, an activist journalist targeted by the Turkish government, and Anastasia Zotova, an activist and wife of jailed Russian dissident Ildar Dadin.

Subjects on the program this year included discrimination against women, jailing of journalists, prison camps, Internet freedom, religious intolerance, and the persecution of human rights defenders.

Nasheed, who is sentenced to thirteen years in jail on terrorism charges for the arbitrary detention of a judge during his administration, has been living in the United Kingdom under political asylum for over a year. He visited the United States last month to take part in climate change talks, and recently stayed in Sri Lanka for a fortnight to meet with top officials of the Maldives’ opposition, diplomats and foreign ambassadors.

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