Hassan Al-Amin accepts HRW award in name of all Libyan activists
By Mariam Muttawa. Tripoli, 28 August 2013:
The Libyan winner of a prestigious human rights award, said today that there were many other voices that deserved the honour more than him.
Hassan Al-Amin, founder of the news organisation Libya-al-Mostakbal told the Libya Herald that that late Abdussalam Al-Mesmari would have been a far better winner. Nevertheless, he said that he accepted the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism from Human Rights Watch “as a recognition for those who tirelessly and relentlessly fought for rights in Libya.”
Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth explained: “These human rights defenders speak out on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, often in dangerous and difficult circumstances. They show that courage and persistence can make a difference, even during periods of conflict and violent transition.”
Amin founded Libya-al-Mostakbal following his flight to the UK after Qaddafi’s security forces arrested and beat him. In 2011 he returned to his home town Misrata to document and publicise human rights violations.
Elected to Congress, he was appointed head of its human rights committee. In March 2013 he resigned, telling the Libya Herald that he had been receiving credible death threats by phone and text. He felt unable to continue his GNC work effectively.
Amin said today that nothing has changed: “I was so hopeful, but our revolution has been hijacked. Libya is in deep, deep chaos, because there are so many evil forces that don’t want the peaceful and democratic state that we have fought for.
“They are still kidnapping and killing and this remains a big obstacle. So there is a lot of work for us, to stop those who are blocking the way.”
Asked how he feels about his HRW award, Amin said: “I am pleased of course, but I have mixed feelings, because there is still a big struggle for human rights in Libya”