Pakistani digital rights activist wins 2016 Human Rights Tulip award

Published: November 6, 2016
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Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation Nighat Dad. PHOTO: twitter.com/DutchMFA

Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation Nighat Dad. PHOTO: twitter.com/DutchMFA

Pakistani internet activist Nighat Dad has been awarded the Dutch government’s 2016 Human Rights Tulip award, which will be presented to her on the upcoming Human Rights Day in December in The Hague.

The prize will be presented to the Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation by the Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders on Saturday, December 10, a statement said Sunday.

“The Human Rights Tulip is an annual prize awarded by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to human rights defenders who take an innovative approach to promoting human rights. The prize consists of a bronze sculpture and €100,000, which is intended to enable recipients to further develop their work,” the communiqué said.

“Human rights defenders are modern-day heroes,” the Dutch minister was quoted as saying. “Despite the many threats she has received, Nighat Dad continues to fight to improve adherence to human rights in Pakistan in a unique and innovative way. Dad is a pioneer who is working to remove everyday obstacles to internet access, especially those that affect women.”

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In 2012, Dad founded the Digital Rights Foundation, which supports female internet users in the form of digital security training courses, public awareness campaigns and the newly created Cyber Harassment Helpline.

Her approach enables her to reach women throughout the country, including those in more remote areas of the country. Dad’s work is in keeping with the two priorities of that policy: freedom of expression, including internet expression, and promoting equal rights for women.

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