Congratulations to Dr. Aida Seif El Dawla

Dr. Aida Seif El Dawla, founding member, psychiatrist, and human rights defender at Egyptian member centre El Nadeem, has been awarded the 2011 Alkarama Award for Human Rights Defenders.

The IRCT wishes to warmly congratulate Dr. Seif El Dawla for her much-deserved recognition from the international human rights community for her long and fervent work on behalf of the victims of torture and other human rights abuses.

“This prize is not the first or the last that the collective of El Nadeem receives,” said IRCT’s Middle East and North Africa regional coordinator Giorgio Caracciolo. “And yet a thousand prizes would not be enough to reward a life dedicated to human rights and people’s well-being after torture.”

For more than 30 years, Dr. Seif El Dawla has worked toward combating torture and investigating human rights abuses in Egypt, where she co-founded IRCT member El Nadeem Centre for Psychological Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, the Egyptian Association Against Torture, and the New Women Research Center. She was previously recognized in 2003 by Human Rights Watch for their highest honour for global human rights defenders.

Please read the full statement from the IRCT here.

Also, our Middle East North Africa regional coordinator Giorgio Caracciolo, who is quoted in this story, offered up a much more lengthy quote that we would like to post in its entirety:

It is four years now that I have worked closely with Aida and the other incredible women that, for almost 20 years, have led El Nadeem Centre and the struggle against torture in Egypt. Working with Aida, Suzanne, Magda, Basma and the others (and the guys too!) has meant a lot to me not only on the professional level but also on the personal one. This prize is not the first or the last that the collective of El Nadeem receives, and yet a thousand prizes would not be enough to reward a life dedicated to human rights and people’s well-being after torture. But if a thousand prizes would not lift the burden left by the stories received from the hundreds and hundreds torture victims supported in the last decades; if a thousand prizes will not give them satisfaction for the work that they have done until torture is brought to a halt in Egypt – every prize has its own infinite importance as this is one of the few ways for us – as an international community – to acknowledge the immense value of the work done by El Nadeem in Egypt.

I have had the privilege to support them closely in the recent past, and I wish them all the strength to continue leading their work towards a Egypt without torture.

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