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The Per Anger Prize to human rights defenders

Each year since 2004, a courageous human rights defender is awarded the Swedish government’s international prize for human rights and democracy.

The Per Anger Prize is an international prize, established in 2004 by the Swedish Government to promote initiatives supporting human rights and democracy. The Government has commissioned the Living History Forum to manage the nominations, appoint a jury and organise all the various aspects of the prize.

The prize is named after Per Anger who, as secretary of the Swedish legation in Budapest, initiated Sweden’s work to save as many Jews as possible from persecution and death during the Second World War in Nazi-occupied Hungary. On 7 December 2013 he would have turned 100. 

About Per Anger

The jury is comprised of Irina Schoulgin-Nyoni (Ambassador for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Johan von Schreeb (Associate Professor, Specialist in General Surgery and Disaster medicine), Hewan Temesghen (Human Rights expert), Nils Anderfelt (grandson to Per Anger) and Petra Mårselius (Director General of The Living History Forum).

Prize winners 2024 - 2011

    2024: Sithar Chhim

    Fighting for fairer conditions for workers in Cambodia.

      2023: Malú García Andrade

      Malú García Andrade demands justice for disappeared and murdered women in Mexico.

        2022: Anabela Lemos

        For more than 20 years, Anabela Lemos has fought for climate justice in Mozambique. Despite receiving threats, she pursues her fight against multinational companies that destroy and exploit the land of small-scale farmers and force them from their homes. The efforts of Anabela Lemos clearly show that human rights and climate justice are tightly linked.

          2021: S’bu Innocent Zikode

          In spite of being targeted and threatened, Sibusiso Innocent Zikode shines a spotlight on injustice committed against society’s most marginalised citizens. His efforts help increase awareness of what it means to have the right to housing and land.

            2020: Intisar Al-Amyal

            “We have to address both men and women in order to promote women’s rights. If we can be partners instead of opponents in this effort, we have taken the first step towards closing the gap between us. We can change, and we will change!” - Intisar Al-Amyal

              2019: Najwa Alimi

              With great courage and risk to her own life, journalist Najwa Alimi fights for the right of women to be seen and their stories to be heard in Afghanistan. In her country, many women are unable to leave their homes, let alone work and be seen on TV.

                2018: Teodora del Carmen Vásquez

                She was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. She gave birth to a stillborn child, was accused of abortion and convicted of murder. Now she continues to fight for women who have been imprisoned for the same reason, and to change the laws of El Salvador.

                  2017: Gégé Katana Bukuru

                  “In every war, at every form of violence, it’s first and foremost women who are victims. It’s often a matter of sexual assault and rape, which have become a weapon of war. The women have been tortured and raped while their men or children have been forced to watch.”<br>- Gégé Katana Bukuru

                    2016: Abdullah al-Khateeb

                    al-Khateeb is awarded the prize for his courageous struggle for human rights and humanitarian law in Syria. In the middle of an ongoing war and in the purgatory between combating forces, he documents violations, negotiates between different ethnic groups and takes on the role of spokesperson for those most vulnerable

                      2015: Islena Rey Rodríguez

                      “I’m the only remaining founder of our organisation who’s still alive. They call me ‘the one who survived’.” - Islena Rey Rodríguez

                        2014 Rita Mahato

                        Mahato is a Nepalese human rights activist working against sexual violence aimed at women and girls in a patriarchal, violent and socially vulnerable society. In spite of her and her family being the targets of a constant stream of grave threats, she continues the fight to strengthen the human rights of Nepal’s women.

                          2013: Justine Ijeomah

                          Justine Ijeomah is the businessman who founded the organisation HURSDEF, Human Rights Social Development and Environmental Foundation. In 2013, he was awarded the Per Anger Prize for his struggle for human rights in Nigeria.

                            2012: Sapiyat Magomedova

                            For her brave and risky work as a lawyer and fearless human rights defender in a violent and hostile environment, Sapiyat Magomedova, Dagestan, is awarded the Per Anger Prize.

                              2011: Narges Mohammadi

                              Narges Mohammadi is active in the Iranian organisation Defenders of Human Rights Center, which provides defense attorneys to political prisoners.

                              Prize winners 2010 - 2004

                                2010: Elena Urlaeva

                                Elena Urlaeva is one of the front figures of The Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan. For many years, she has with great courage and risk for her own safety fought for individuals’ rights.

                                  2009: Brahim Dahane

                                  Dahane recieved the prize in recognition of having demonstrated unwavering personal courage, employed peaceful means and risked his life in the struggle for human rights during the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario over Western Sahara.

                                    2008: Sebastian Bakare

                                    Bishop Sebastian Bakare, representative of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, is awarded the prize for having given voice to the fight against oppression and for freedom of speech and of opinion in a difficult political situation, through courage and personal sacrifice.

                                      2007: Yolanda Becerra

                                      For tirelessly defying armed force in an intimidating environment, in order to strengthen the voices that risk being silenced, the Organización Femenina Popular is awarded the prize for their humanitarian and democracy-promoting work.”

                                        2006: Aljaksandr (Ales) Bialiatski

                                        <em>“For his fearless struggle for the rights of the common man, and for his opposition to the oppression of human rights, Ales Bialiatski is awarded the prize for humanitarian and democracy-promoting work.”</em>

                                          2005: Arsen Sakalov

                                          Arsen Sakalov is the teacher who became a human rights activist in the Russian autonomous republic of Ingushetia. He was awarded the prize for his self-sacrificing work of identifying, documenting and reporting abuses that have occurred in the neighbouring republic of Chechnya.

                                            2004: Gennaro Verolino

                                            For having shown the best in man, in times when our history showed proof of the worst of mankind, Monsignor Gennaro Verolino was awarded prize. He was the first person to recieve it.

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