Syrian human rights activist Anwar al-Bunni on Monday was presented with the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law to honor his bravery in defending human rights and his activism against the Assad regime’s crimes.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Berlin, which was held on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, German Minister of State Niels Annen praised al-Bunni’s work and bravery. He described him as one of the courageous human rights defenders who courageously make an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.
“You have always been willing to pay a heavy price for your deep convictions,” Annen said. “As a lawyer defending human rights, you have lived and witnessed in Syria unimaginable atrocities.”
In late November, Al-Bunni was awarded the joint German-French prize along with 15 other rights activists from around the world in recognition of their courage in defending human rights and the rule of law.
Al-Bunni, who currently heads the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research, has won several human rights awards, most notably an award from the International Organization for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and one another from the German Association of Judges. He also received the he annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights, which was established in 2005.
Born in Hama in 1959, al-Bunni holds a law degree from the University of Damascus. He spent many years in the Assad regime’s prisons for his activism in the defense of prisoners of conscience in Syria. In 2014, he left Syria to escape harassment by Assad’s security agencies and currently lives in Germany. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)