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7 Human Rights Activists in the Middle East You Must Follow

21 September, 2014
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Men, women, journalists, lawyers, poets, bloggers, Nobel peace prize laureate, they have all stood up to defend human dignity and rights.  

Waleed Abul Khair
Lawyer and human rights activist, Abu Khair is also the head of Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA). He is considered as one of Top 100 Most Influential Arabs on Twitter by Forbes Middle East and has gained a great deal of international recognition and prizes. Abu Khair has written over 300 articles about legal reform and human rights in Saudi newspapers as well as the Washington Post. He was arrested a few months ago and in July 2014 was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

Lina Ben Mhenni
In her battle against censorship and for human rights in Tunisia, at the age of 29 Ben Mhenni was at the top of the nominees list for Nobel Prize for Peace in 2013. She started her journey for civil rights long before the uprising of her country through her blog Tunisian Girl where she reports in French, English and Arabic.

Karman Tawakkol
Named the 'Iron Woman' in Yemen, Tawakkol was the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 recognizing her fight against human rights violations. She is the founder of the organization Women Journalists Without Chains, (WJWC) which calls for civil rights, freedom of expression and provides media skills to journalists.

Mohammed Al-Roken
Al-Roken is a human rights lawyer and the co-founder of Bridging the Gulf Foundation for human security in the Gulf region. He maintains a significant role in promoting democracy and spreading awareness about human rights in the Arab Gulf region. His efforts include providing legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses in the UAE. Mohamed was nominated as a finalist for the 2014 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

Razan Zaytouneh
@razanz and @VDC_Syria
Zaytouneh is a Syrian human rights lawyer and founder of The Violations Documentation Centre and Local Development and Small Projects Support which are independent non-governmental organizations responsible for documenting human rights violation in Syria. She received numerous awards for her work: the Anna Politkovskaya prize and  the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2011 in addition to the International Women of Courage Award in 2013.

Heba Morayef
Egyptian human rights advocate whose work gained recognition in the Arab Spring. Morayef worked as a researcher for Human Rights Watch in Egypt where she documented human rights abuse, investigated trends and publicized reports about violations. Her articles were published in several international publications such as Foreign Policy, the Times, the International Herald Tribune and others.  In 2013, she was named as a Power Woman by Forbes and was counted as one of the 100 most influential people by a poll in Time Magazine.

Nimah Ismail Nawwab
A Saudi activist and internationally recognized poet, Ismail Nawwab was nominated Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum. Considered a cultural ambassador, she has been working on empowering youth and women in her writing, photography and talks worldwide.

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