Darfuri Doctor and Rights Defender to Receive 2007 RFK Human Rights Award
For Immediate Release:
Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah to be awarded with RFK Human Rights Award for defending and treating survivors of rape and torture in Darfur in Washington, D.C, November 16th, 2007 at a 10:30 am ceremony in the Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building (Room 325) hosted by Ethel Kennedy with remarks by Senator Edward Kennedy and Kerry Kennedy with Keynote speech by actor and advocate Mia Farrow. The event is open to the press.
Washington DC--- The 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award will be presented to Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah. Dr. Mohammed Ahmed is being recognized for his work as the Medical Treatment Director of the Amel Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Sudan, a leading Sudanese Darfuri-led human rights organization. Despite being surrounded by the on-going brutal conflict in Darfur, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed has been steadfast in his efforts to rectify the region's human rights crisis through serving victims of torture and providing leadership in the movement for peace.
"While nobody can ever fully express the feelings of the millions tortured, raped and killed in Darfur for no reason except being African, I am grateful for the recognition and support this award will provide for the internally displaced and those in need of medical attention," said Dr. Mohammed Ahmed. "The award is a message to rights abusers everywhere, that their misconducts can not go unpunished and that human rights defenders all over the world are working together to change and treat these evil sins to create a better world where human dignity is conserved."
"Through his extraordinary work and dedication Dr. Ahmed has helped countless innocent victims of horrendous crimes and unspeakable brutalities in Darfur. He courageously confronts these evils and continues to fight to preserve the dignity and human rights of his fellow citizens," said Senator Edward M. Kennedy. "Urgent action is needed now to halt the genocide in Darfur, which has taken an enormous toll and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives. In the face of this heartbreaking human disaster, Dr. Ahmed is deeply committed to easing the suffering. His actions vividly illustrate how one person's vision of a better world can truly make a difference in the lives of countless others."
Dr. Ahmed will be awarded by Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy in a public ceremony with remarks by Senator Edward Kennedy and human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy on November 16th 2007 at 10:30 AM in Washington, DC, in the U.S. Senate Russell Office Building's Caucus Room, Room 325. Actress and renowned Darfur advocate Mia Farrow will deliver the keynote speech at the event.
Dr. Ahmed works as a physician in the cities of Nyala and Al Fashir providing medical care and support to survivors of torture and sexual violence and documenting on-going human rights abuses. He is renowned for creating a network of health professionals in Darfur to provide quality care to the victims of violence and to ensure the human rights of all Darfuri people. A respected community leader in Sudan, Dr. Ahmed has represented the Fur tribe, the majority ethnic group in Darfur, in national and international forums and negotiations for peace in Sudan.
Since the rebellion of several armed groups from Darfur's African tribes in 2003, the Sudanese government has been engaged in a brutal counter-insurgency campaign targeting Darfur's civilians. Up to 2,000 villages have been destroyed by the government of Sudan and government supported militias, internally displacing over 2.5 million people to date. According to estimates, the conflict has claimed more than 250,000 lives.
"Dr. Mohammed Ahmed's courageous work to fight torture and other human rights abuses is not only a great service to individual survivors, but is a step towards ending the impunity that reigns in Sudan," said Monika Kalra Varma, Director of the RFK Center for Human Rights. "By giving him the RFK Human Rights Award, we are not only recognizing a voice for peace and a human rights champion but beginning a long-term partnership with Dr. Ahmed and Amel Center to realize the rights of the Darfuri people."
For almost 40 years the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, has served as an organization dedicated to RFK's vision of a more peaceful and just world. The RFK Center works to advance the human rights movement through partnering with courageous grassroots defenders who have won the RFK Human Rights Award.