Abdul Aziz Muhamat recipient of 2019 Martin Ennals human rights prize
Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Sudanese refugee detained on Manus Island, has won the prestigious 2019 Martin Ennals human rights prize for exposing the very cruel refugee policy of the Australian government. Recognized as a true leader, human rights and humanitarian advocate, Muhamat has tirelessly cared for fellow refugees, and eloquently drawn the world’s attention to their plight. It is the first time that the major prize has been awarded to an individual focused on refugee issues and who has been a victim of human rights violations by a Western democracy. Muhamat was stuck in an Australia’s notorious offshore detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for over 5 years after his boat was intercepted by Australian authorities in 2013. Mr Muhamat has been permitted to leave the island since being granted a Swiss visa, but hopes to return to Manus to continue his advocacy work. The annual Martin Ennals Awards are named after a Nobel Peace Prize-winning British human rights activist.