Malahat Nasibova from Azerbaijan
(24/09-2009) The Rafto Prize for 2009 goes to journalist and human rights activist Malahat Nasibova. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee would like to congratulate Malahat Nasibova with this years Rafto Price. The prize will hopefully lead to a greater focus on the grave situation for independent press and human rights in Azerbaijan.
Nasibova has been awarded the prize for her courageous and unwavering struggle for a free and independent press. Risking her
own safety, she reports on abuse of power, human rights violations and corruption in the isolated autonomous republic Nakhchivan,
which is part of Azerbaijan. Malahat Nasibova (40) is a correspondent for the independent information bureau, ‘Turan’ in Azerbaijan
and for ‘Radio Free Europe’/‘Radio Liberty’. She is the leader of the human rights organisation ‘Democracy and NGO’s Development
Resource Center’ in Nakhchivan. Nasibova has been a critical voice against the authorities for ten years and she steadfastly
refuses to give up the fight for freedom of speech. She reports on violations by the police against ordinary citizens, kidnapping
of members of the opposition, and attacks on journalists. In the absence of other independent institutions, Nasibova has become
a kind of ombudsperson whom the local population turn to, to be heard.
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