Whistleblower, encryption pioneers, Girlguiding and an entire Welsh market town among courageous voices up for Liberty’s Human Rights Awards

09 October 2017

Liberty has today announced the shortlist for its 2017 Human Rights Awards – with an undercover journalist, encryption pioneers, Girlguiding members and the people of the Welsh town of Narberth among those nominated by the public.

Comedian Jeremy Hardy will host this year’s event on 24 October at London’s Royal Court Theatre – and will introduce a new Courageous Voice award, honouring those who have taking bold action to stand up to those in power.

The More in Common award, in association with the Jo Cox Foundation, returns for a second year to honour those working to bring their communities together, while this year’s Long Walk award will be presented on the night to a movement which has dedicated decades to campaigning for equal rights.

The shortlist includes:

Callum Tulley, 21, who blew the whistle on the violence and abuse at Brook House removal centre – dragging the barbaric treatment of immigration detainees in the UK into the light.

Open Whisper Systems, for their pioneering end-to-end encryption technology that keeps more than one billion people’s communications safe and private in the face of illogical and irresponsible government attacks.

• Residents of the small Welsh market town of Narberth who – unwilling to stand by and watch the refugee crisis – worked together to raise money to welcome Syrian refugees into their community.

Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, said: “When it comes to the Government respecting and protecting our rights, freedom and equality, this has been a dark year – from the contempt for democracy shown in the Repeal Bill to technologically illiterate attacks on our online privacy and the continued creep of immigration enforcement into every corner of UK life.

“These nominees show there are plenty of people who aren’t willing to sit back and accept this vision of our country’s future – speaking truth to power, fighting injustice and sticking up for people when those at the top let them down.”

The 2017 nominees are:

Courageous Voice

Disabled People Against Cuts – for their Summer of Discontent week of action, raising awareness of issues affecting the rights of disabled people.

Callum Tulley – for his undercover work with Panorama, which exposed chaos, violence and abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre.

Callum Tulley

Open Whisper Systems – for their pioneering end-to-end encryption technology that keeps over one billion people’s communications private via Signal and WhatsApp.

Human Rights Arts

• Photographer Giles Duley – for his Legacy of War project exploring the lasting impact and human cost of war.

• Playwright Inua Ellams – for An Evening with an Immigrant, which examined his history and the UK’s complex relationship with immigration.

Magic Me – for their Cocktails in Care Homes project, combatting isolation and loneliness in later life by using the arts to bring different generations together.

Lawyer of the Year

Caroline Wilson Palow and the legal team at Privacy International – for their important cases advancing and protecting the right to privacy and challenging mass surveillance.

Adam Creme (UNISON) – for leading the litigation that successfully challenged the lawfulness of Employment Tribunal fees and ultimately saw them abolished.

Jo Eggleton (Deighton Pierce Glynn) – for her work with the families of nine of the 17 people who have died since May 2013 at HMP Woodhill.

More in Common

Croeso Arberth and the people of Narberth – for their work to provide a safe haven for refugee families fleeing war and terror.

Right to Remain – for their work training activists around the country as part of their These Walls Must Fall campaign to end indefinite immigration detention.

The Unity Centre, Glasgow – for their work providing help, advice and emotional solidarity to those facing and experiencing deportation, destitution or detention.

Young Person of the Year

Girlguiding’s Advocates – for their Girls Matter campaign, which helped change the law to make Sex and Relationship Education compulsory in all schools in England.

Cecile Lansford – for her work with York Human Rights City Network to ensure human rights are considered in all York’s laws, policies and decision-making.

My Life, My Say – for their work engaging more young people in politics to secure the best possible Brexit for young people.