Fraternity Foundation of Human Rights (Birati) honors Thomas McGay with Razan Zaitouneh Award in Berlin

Fraternity Foundation of Human Rights (FFHR) held a ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 4, for honoring the British academic Thomas McGay with Razan Zaitouneh Award of supporting the defenders of human rights in the German capital Berlin.

Anas Hassan, the FFHR coordinator in Germany, opened the ceremony and introduced the attendees with Thomas McKay and his defending of human rights.

Medya Deher, the FFHR general manager, delivered the foundation’s speech. She talked about the courage of the Syrian human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh who was abducted from Damascus Ghouta in 2013.

Deher stressed that FFHR is constantly shedding light in the case of Zaitouneh and calls for revealing the lawyer’s fate and returning her to her family and friends.

Deher also talked about the Syrian conflict and the suffering of the Syrian people from crimes and terrible abuses committed by the Syrian regime, the Islamic State (ISIS) group, and many other extremist armed militias.

Deher also stressed the necessity of continuing the work of defending the victims of the conflict and prosecuting the perpetrators of war crimes in Syria, especially those committed by ISIS against the Yazidi women.

She expressed FFHR’s concerns about the spread of hate and discrimination speech all over the world by some world’s leaders and extremist groups that lead to destabilizing the global stability. Deher stressed the need to limit the spread of such speeches and to achieve peace, freedom, and justice in the world, particularly in Syria.

Then Deher presented the award to Thomas McGay who delivered a valuable speech on the lawyer Zaitouneh who struggled tirelessly to defend the values of the Syrian people and their struggle to preserve their freedom and dignity and to establish a new democratic and prosperous country.

McKay thanked FFHR and highly valued its achievements over the past five years, considering them a significant development in the role of human rights and civil society organizations in defending human rights.

McGay further talked extensively about his personal experience in the defence of the rights of the stateless people in Syria, highlighting the suffering of more than 300 thousand Syrian Kurds who were stripped from their citizenships by the Syrian regime in the exceptional census conducted in 1962.

McGay has obtained a Master degree from the University of Exeter in the case of the stateless Syrian Kurds.

McGay also talked about the suffering of the Yazidis by ISIS in Iraq, especially women and children who were exposed to numerous kinds of atrocities.

A movie in German on the lawyer Zaitouneh was displayed in the ceremony in addition to another one in English on the biography of McGay.

The ceremony was attended by an elite group of lawyers, civil activists, representatives of German organizations, and German and Syrian activists and journalists.

Our fellow members Hooshang Ibrahim and Hewa Ibrahim supervised and the technical issues of the ceremony.

Razan Zaitouneh Award of supporting the defenders of human rights is an international award that our foundation grants to individuals and organizations that advocate for human rights in the Middle East, regardless of nationality, religion, color or race in line with the FFHR principles and its objective approach that reflects the vision of the lawyer Zaitouneh.

Through this award, FFHR tirelessly insists on shedding light on the cause of Razan Zaitouneh and four kidnapped in Duma (Damascus).

The award is sponsored and funded by the voluntary contributions of the constituent body of FFHR which does not receive any contributions from organizations or governments.

FFHR launched the award in 2014 on the World Human Rights Day and the first anniversary of the abduction of Zaitouneh.The award was given to the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for supporting the human right defenders.

In 2015, FFHR gave it to the Iraqi Kurdish Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil.