Anwar al-Bunni, Head of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research as well as prominent lawyer and former prisoner in the prisons of the Assad regime, was among the recipients of this year’s Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in recognition of his work in the defense and promotion of human rights.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the recipients of the 2018 prize, which went to 15 human rights defenders and advocates from around the world.
“The Prize is intended to bring global honor and support to people who have distinguished themselves by protecting and promoting human rights in their homeland, in other countries or at international level, or who have launched initiatives to promote the rule of law,” the statement said.
In comments he published on Facebook, Al-Bunni said that “this honor does not go to him only but also to the many other human rights defenders who have worked diligently to promote human rights and the rule of law in Syria.”
An ardent advocate of human rights in Syria, Al-Bunni spent time in the prisons of the Assad regime in 2006 for his activism.
Al-Bunni earlier received 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 to honor the work of 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.
In 2008, Irish President Mary McAleese honored Al-Bunni in Dublin as she commended “the immense sacrifices” he has made. Al-Bunni once headed a human rights organization that was shut down by the Assad regime just a week after its establishment. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)