Home » Human Rights » Another Top Award for Mtetwa, Plus $100 000

TOP Zimbabwean human rights attorney, Beatrice Mtetwa, is the recipient of the international and prestigious 2014 Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage, it was revealed Thursday.

The award was established in 2011 by Georgia Institute of Technology, a US public research university in Atlanta, Georgia to honour the city’s late mayor Ivan Allen Jr, a pivotal leader during America’s struggle for racial integration during the 1960s.

The Prize, which comes with a US$100,000 cash award, recognizes “those around the world who, by standing up for moral principle, have positively affected public discourse at the risk of their own careers, their livelihoods, and even their lives”.

Mtetwa is the first woman and the first non-Georgian to receive the award and she will be honoured during a ceremony at the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts scheduled for November 13 this year.

Mtetwa has fought against injustice and defended press freedom for more than 20 years, in the process enduring harassment and arrest as she has aocated for human rights, social justice and women’s equality and aancement.

“Mtetwa has endured a sometimes painful journey to achieve the larger purpose of freedom and justice for all,” Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson said Thursday.

“That is the promise of a democracy, and Beatrice Mtetwa embodies the effort to fulfil that promise. There are some who, through great personal sacrifice and courage, impact the lives of countless individuals as well as those for generations to come. Ms. Mitta is one such person.”

The selection of Mtetwa comes at a time when the Zimbabwe government is again persecuting human rights defenders in the country.

“I am hoping that the message that will be sent out there is that one can be true to their beliefs regardless of whatever dangers might be lurking in the background,” Mtetwa wrote in an email to Saportareport.com.

“If more of us were prepared to do this kind of work, it would be more difficult to target them for persecution, and it is my hope that this award will help swell the numbers of people prepared to stand up for what is right.”

Source : New Zimbabwe