4 November 2012

Nigeria: Foei Chair Nnimmo Bassey Awarded 2012 Rafto Prize for Human Rights

press release

Bergen/Lagos — Friends of the Earth International, the world's largest federation of grassroots environmental organisations, is proud to announce that its chair, Nnimmo Bassey, who is also Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria [1], will receive the 2012 Rafto Prize for Human Rights [2] in Norway on November 4.

The Rafto Prize for Human Rights has been awarded to advocates of human rights and democracy every year since 1987. Several Rafto Laureates have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [3]

The 2012 Rafto Prize will be awarded to Nnimmo Bassey in recognition of his long-term fight for people's rights to life, health, food and water in a world affected by climate change and mass environmental destruction.

"Through his rights based work and criticism of prevailing systems, Bassey has shown how human rights can help mitigate the effects of these changes," says the Rafto Foundation.

Nnimmo Bassey said:

"I am honored and humbled by this announcement. I hold the Rafto Foundation in high esteem for its commitment to human right defenders. I have campaigned on oil pollution and human rights in Nigeria for decades. Standing with impacted communities we continually demand justice. We press on, convinced that truth will prevail."

Nnimmo Bassey is one of Africa's leading advocates and campaigners for the environment and human rights. Bassey has tirelessly stood up against the practices of multinational corporations and the environmental devastation they leave behind, destroying the lives and trampling on the rights of local people.

A Rafto Conference, "Human Rights Threatened by Climate Change", will be held on Saturday, 3 November at Radisson Blu Hotel Norge in Bergen. Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, Norwegian Minister of International Development, will open the conference.

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