Admin l Friday, December 9, 2022
LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigerian journalist Philip Obaji Jr. and the non-profit entity Wassu Foundation have both won the Jaime Brunet International Award for the Promotion of Human Rights from the Public University of Navarra (UPNA), whose decision was made known on Friday December 9, the eve of International Human Rights Day.
The award, previously won by Pope Francis and Dalai Lama, recognizes the work of denouncing abuses committed by the Wagner group and its allies, on the one hand, and the fight against female genital mutilation, on the other; in both cases, on the African continent.
The jury highlighted Obaji’s “courageous activity as a journalist” for his documentation of “more than a hundred human rights abuses committed by mercenaries from the Wagner Group and their allies in West Africa, especially in Mali and the Central African Republic, despite threats, in an extremely dangerous context, unearthing and vividly portraying the individual stories of displaced people and refugees in West and Central Africa”, among other aspects.
In the case of the Wassu Foundation, the jury highlighted its work in the “resolute fight against female genital mutilation” since its creation in The Gambia in 1999 by Professor Adriana Kaplan, anthropologist and professor of Social Transfer of Knowledge at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The names of the winners were revealed in a ceremony attended by Joaquín Mencos Doussinague, president of the jury and vice president of the Brunet Foundation, and the members of the Patricio Hernández Pérez Foundation. The prize is endowed with 36,000 euros, an amount that will be divided equally between the person and the winning entity.