On April 10th, high school students had the opportunity to attend a speech by Mr. Hassan al-Amin, a Libyan human rights activist. Mr. al-Amin spoke about the history of conflict in Libya including the recent ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He explained the factors that make it difficult to track and prevent human rights abuses committed by both Gaddafi’s supporters and his dissidents.
Mr. Fred Abraham, a member of the international organization Human Rights Watch, also spoke about the impact of Mr. al-Amin’s work and the importance of not turning a blind eye to the areas of the world in need. Mr. al-Amin is a recent recipient of Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award which celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others.
After the speech, ASIJ recognized the winning entries in the Human Rights Watch student essay contest:
Kari Wadden – The Lost Children of Japan: Restoring the Rights of Institutionalized “Orphans”
Faysal Demir – The Muted Outrage: Persecution of Rohingyas in Burma
Billy Fujii – Japanese State Secrets Law
Jane Schlesinger – Homelessness in Japan
Sasha Woffinden – Japan’s Special Secrets Law: A Threat to Humanity
Kara Huang – After the Khmer Rouge: The Continuing Struggle for Justice
Keno Katsuda – Fukushima – Neglecting Health and Safety
Melanie Xu – Ijime
Kenta Yaegashi – Adoption in Japan: An Overlooked Human Rights Issue
For more information about Hassan al-Amin: