Liberty Human Rights Awards: 2015 shortlist announced

25 August 2015

The nominees for the Liberty Human Rights Awards, announced today, include ground-breaking activists, fearless young campaigners, lawyers and artists who have been at the forefront of the fight for human rights and civil liberties in 2015.

The awards celebrate the achievements of organisations and individuals from all walks of life who have worked tirelessly to protect and promote fundamental freedoms at a time when the post-war human rights consensus faces an unprecedented attack.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said: “This year’s awards take place under the darkest of shadows – the threat to our Human Rights Act, our most formidable tool for protecting fundamental freedoms and holding the powerful to account.

“At this time, it’s more vital than ever to celebrate the power of collective action and fearless campaigning, and to remind ourselves that toxic misinformation, divisive dog-whistle politics and appalling injustice can, and will, be challenged, exposed and ended.” 

Winners will be revealed on Monday 7 September as part of an evening of uplifting stories and entertainment hosted by critically acclaimed writer, actor and comedian Jo Brand at London’s Southbank Centre.

The event, which is open to the public, will also feature performances from soul singer Lizzie Emeh, the first solo artist with a learning disability to release a mainstream UK album, and multiple award-winning performance poet Sabrina Mahfouz.

The nominees in full are:

The Christine Jackson Young Person Award

  • Cardiff Law School Innocence Project – For becoming the first innocence project to help successfully overturn a wrongful conviction.
  • Helawit Hailemariam – For co-developing the play Ask to pressure the British Government into pressing for the release of her father, democracy activist Andargachew Tsege, who is being detained by the Ethiopian regime.
  • Temi Mwale – For founding Get Outta the Gang, which works across London to tackle youth violence and the prevalence of gang culture.

Human Rights ‘Close to Home’ Award

  • Integrate Bristol – For working toward better integration of young people and children and supporting young people to campaign on issues they care about.
  • Kalayaan – For leading the campaign, alongside others, for a reversal of 2012 visa rules which tie overseas domestic workers to abusive employers.
  • Jan Sutton – For defending the Human Rights Act and inspiring others to fight for the right to live with dignity through her blog and online film.

Human Rights Arts Award, in association with Southbank Centre

  • Helen Benedict – For her play The Lonely Soldier Monologues, which tells the verbatim stories of seven women serving in the US Armed Forces.
  • Don McVey – For his documentary The Price of Love, which follows British families affected by the 2012 UK Spouse Immigration Rules.
  • WAST Nightingales – For bringing women refugees and asylum seekers together in song and raising awareness of the injustices suffered by women seeking asylum in the UK.
  • Penny Woolcock – For Utopia, her immersive audio art installation investigating the hidden narratives of the world’s biggest cities.

Human Rights Lawyer of the Year

  • Ben Jaffey, Blackstone Chambers – For leading the challenge to mass surveillance in the courts, acting for Liberty, Privacy International and others.
  • Nathalie Lieven QC, Landmark Chambers – For acting for Detention Action in its successful challenge to the Detained Fast Track asylum process, resulting in its suspension.
  • The Public Law Project (PLP) – For a highly successful year of legal challenges and for running a vital project helping people apply for exceptional funding.
  • Adam Wagner, 1 Crown Office Row – For launching the innovative RightsInfo project, which seeks to correct misinformation and explain why human rights matter.

Human Rights Campaign of the Year Award

  • Detention Action – For its successful legal challenge to Detained Fast Track, which saw the scheme ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal and suspended in July.
  • Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association – For campaigning to reform the law doctrine of joint enterprise, persuading the Justice Committee to recommend urgent change.
  • Lord Ramsbotham, CRAE, The Howard League for Penal Reform and the SCYJ – For persuading the Government to abandon plans for a ‘secure college’ – a titan prison for children.

Three other awards will be presented on the night:

  • The Courageous Voice Award, honouring those who speak out with courage and determination to change the world.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising those who dedicate their lives to working to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
  • The Collective Voice Award, honouring the power of collective action and positive campaigning. 

To book tickets for the Liberty Human Rights Awards 2015, visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

Contact: Liberty Press Office on 0207 378 3656 or 07973 831128.