Sudanese national Mohamed Yosaif Abdalrahan has won the American International Religious Freedom award as announced by the US State department.
Mohamed, human rights activist with the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative (SHRI), is one of five persons around the globe, including another African from Nigeria, to win this award.
In the citation for the award the state department said Mohamed Yosaif Abdalrahan of Sudan has "worked tirelessly to defend the rights of Sudan's religious minorities, both in his legal casework and through public".
Mohamed is a lawyer and a co-founder of the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative (SHRI). The state department said Mohamed leads and develops advocacy campaigns to strengthen legal protections for minority religious communities and to end the government's property confiscations targeting religious minorities.
It added that he has organized trainings on human rights and journalism, women's rights, and rights awareness for young Sudanese citizens. Through his legal practice, he has defended minority religious leaders targeted for arrest on specious charges following government interference in their activities.
It added that Mohamed, a member of Sudan's Muslim majority, has become a trusted ally of minority communities and has helped them navigate the country's complex judicial system, deploying his strong technical knowledge in international human rights law and Sudanese constitutional law, and his outstanding dedication to use the law as a force for good.
It concluded that Mohamed's tireless defense of religious minorities in Sudan is evidence of his work as a true champion of religious freedom.
The (SHRI) group maintained in its face book page that Mohamed has been repeatedly jailed for his work as a human rights lawyer. Most recently, he was detained for 5 months, from December 2018 until he was freed by peaceful protesters from inside prison during the recent uprising on 11 April 2019.