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2009 Human Rights Awards Dinner: The Women of Afghanistan and Sudan


Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN (June 1, 2009) – The Advocates for Human Rights will host its annual Human Rights Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 from 4:30 to 8:45 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. The theme of this year’s event will be: Is the World Watching? The Women of Afghanistan and Sudan.

Speaking to the innumerable human rights abuses visited upon girls and women in these two countries is the recipient of this year’s Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award, Dr. Sima Samar. Dr. Samar is the Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan – site of the alarming atrocities of the Darfur genocide.

The Advocates has selected Dr. Samar for her many years of courageous and important work in the field of human rights. As a woman and ethnic minority, Dr. Samar has risen up in the face of extreme adversity. She was forced to flee to Pakistan when her husband was kidnapped in 1984, but worked from the adjoining country to found The Shuhada Organization, which now operates 55 schools for girls and boys in Afghanistan and three schools in Pakistan for Afghan refugees. Dr. Samar was one of only two women cabinet ministers in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan’s government. During this Administration, Dr. Samar established the first ever Afghanistan Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Her accomplishments are numerous and have won her recognition and acclaim in many corners of the globe. Minnesota is fortunate to welcome her as a visitor and honoree.

The evening will include a cocktail reception with Dr. Samar, silent and live auctions, the general reception, and the dinner program at which Dr. Samar will deliver her keynote address. During the program, the 2009 Special Recognition Awards will be presented to members of The Advocates’ Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Project Management Team – Dulce Foster, Dianne Heins, Mark Kalla, and Jim O’Neal – who each provided countless hours of pro bono management, as well as legal and technical assistance, to ensure that the voices of the Liberian diaspora were included in the peacebuilding process of their home country.

Please call The Advocates or visit our website at www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org for more information.

Robin Phillips                                                                Sarah Herder
Executive Director                                                          Development and Communications Director

(w) 612-341-3302, ext. 109  (c) 612-386-3032                   (w) 612-341-3302, ext. 126  (c) 612-227-0405

rphillips@advrights.org                                                    sherder@advrights.org



The Advocates for Human Rights is a non-governmental, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights. With the help of over 600 volunteers, The Advocates investigates and exposes human rights violations; represents immigrants and refugees in our community who are victims of human rights abuses, trains and assists groups that protect human rights; and works through education and advocacy to engage the public, policy makers and children about human rights and cultural understanding. The Advocates holds Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.