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Mozn Hassan, executive director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, an Egyptian women's rights group.
Mozn Hassan, executive director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, an Egyptian women's rights group. Credit: Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

Travel ban bars Right Livelihood laureate from Stockholm

Foundation director: It seems very arbitrary
3:29 min

Four laureates have won this year's Right Livelihood Award but it appears that only three are slated to come to Stockholm next week to collect their prize.

Mozn Hassan is the executive director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, a leading women's rights group in Egypt. Her organization has fought against sexual harassment and violence in that country, but the authorities there aren't letting her leave Egypt.

Ole von Uxekull, the executive director at the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation, calls the ban strange and disconcerting.

"We've been campaigning hard to hopefully still convince the Egyptian authorities before the beginning of next week that they would let her leave the country," he tells Radio Sweden. "It seems very arbitrary."

Von Uxekull says the organization could travel to Egypt to personally hand over Hassan's certificate but it won't on a matter of principle. Instead it is working to mobilize international support for Hassan.

This year's other laureates are the volunteer group Syria Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, Russian rights defender Svetlana Gannushkina and the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, which has seen working conditions for its journalists worsen in recent days.

The Right Livelihood Awards - billed as the alternative Nobel Prize - will be given out on November 25th. The foundation will also host events attended by the laureates in Berlin and Geneva. And members from both Cumhuriyet and the Syria Civil Defence will give public lectures in Stockholm on November 24.


Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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