Uganda: Opiyo Receives Accolades for Tulip Award

Some civil society leaders and organisations have congratulated human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo for winning the 2021 Human Rights Tulip award.

The Executive Director of Chapter Four Uganda received the award and a cash prize of $100,000 from the Foreign Minister of The Netherlands, Ben Knapen.

The award, which is given by the government of The Netherlands, supports courageous human rights defenders in improving the observance of human rights worldwide.

‘With this recognition, NL [The Netherlands] supports him in his important work’, Knapen tweeted.

‘Your excellency, thank you so much. It was humbling and terrifying to receive the award from you earlier today. My gratitude to the @DutchMFA & the @NLinUganda for this award’, Opiyo replied.

Opiyo led the campaign for the enactment of a law criminalising torture and drafted the initial bill that was enacted by the Ugandan parliament in 2012.

Chapter Four Uganda, which Opiyo established in 2013, works to protect civil liberties and defend human rights activists who are being persecuted in the East African country.

He was awarded the 2017 German Africa Prize, as well as Human Rights Watch’s 2015 Alison Des Forges Award.

He has also received various awards and commendation including the Commendation of the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco in 2015 for his dedication to the defence of human rights of LGBQ individuals.

In her reaction, founder of the Ethical Tech Initiative, Deb Doing, tweeted, ‘So absolutely proud of the brilliant @nickopiyo for his incredible #humanrights work.

‘This recognition is well deserved. Nicholas is an inspiration to me and a model of human rights activism’.

Also, Defend Defenders, a nonprofit that strengthens the work of human rights defenders, described Opiyo as an ‘indefatigable human rights defender’.

‘Congratulations, @nickopiyo, upon your deserved award and recognition. Over the years, you have, at great personal cost, proved a reliable and indefatigable human rights defender, inspiring many others along the way’, the nonprofit tweeted.

In a congratulatory tweet, the Africa Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL Project) said Opiyo was always supporting and empowering fellow activists.

‘Congratulations @nickopiyo – a very well-deserved recognition of your fearless and tireless work for #humanrights. All of us in the AMEL community know that you [do not] just inspire others, [you are] the very first to dedicate your time, energy and support to empowering fellow activists’!

Photo source: Nicholas Opiyo


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