Prize | 28.05.2019

The 23rd “Ludovic-Trarieux” International Human Rights Prize Awarded to Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

On May 24, 2019 in Brussels, the 23rd “Ludovic-Trarieux” International Human Rights Prize was awarded to Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh for her dedication to upholding international human rights. Ms. Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer known worldwide for her unwavering commitment to the defence of human rights, her opposition to the death penalty and her courageous advocacy for the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary system. Notably, Sotoudeh devoted herself to the defence of young Iranian women who have been arrested and prosecuted for peacefully protesting against the compulsory veiling in Iran.

Sotoudeh was unable to accept the prize due to her imprisonment in Tehran. Sotoudeh was sentenced to a total conviction of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes stemming from seven charges, including “assembly and collusion against national security”; “spreading propaganda against the State”; and “appearing at the judiciary without the Islamic hijab.” Before her last arrest in June 2018, Sotoudeh has repeatedly suffered harassment, intimidation, imprisonment, as well as a ban on practising law, her profession.

The UIA, as a member of the “Ludovic-Trarieux” International Human Rights Prize Jury, was represented by President Issouf Baadhio in the award ceremony.
The 2018 “Ludovic-Trarieux” International Human Rights Prize and the UIA commend Nasrin Sotoudeh for her persistence and commitment to her work as a lawyer and to the independence of the legal profession, and her devoted defence of human rights.

The “Ludovic-Trarieux” International Human Rights Prize is among the oldest and most reputable prizes, awarded to “a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who throughout their career have illustrated, by their activity or their suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form.” The first Prize, awarded in 1985, recognized Nelson Mandela, and other prize-winners have included Fethi Terbil of Libya and Mahienour el-Massry of Egypt.

Created in 1984, the "Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize,” named after a notable French lawyer and politician, is the oldest and one of the most prestigious awards given to a lawyer. This award, "given by lawyers to lawyers,” is granted to a lawyer “who throughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form.”

UIA, a member of the IDHAE (the European Bar Human Rights Institute), is honoured to be one of the organisations contributing to the Award and therefore a member of the Jury who decides on each year’s recipient.



Deliberations for the 2019 award recipient of the Ludovic Trarieux Prize were also conducted by the jury in Brussels on May 24, 2019. The jury decided to bestow the 2019 Award on Colombian human rights lawyer Rommel Durán Castellanos.

Mr. Durán Castellanos is the President of the Equipo Jurídico Pueblos (EJP – Legal Team Pueblos) and a volunteer on the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP), in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Over the past two decades, Rommel Durán has courageously defended farming communities claiming restitution of their lands, and victims of crimes such as enforced disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial executions, perpetrated by paramilitary groups. Due to his work as a lawyer, Mr. Durán Castellanos has been regularly subject to intimidation, threats, and stigmatization. He has been also arbitrarily detained twice.

The Crimean Bar Association will receive the 2019 Ludovic Trarieux Special Mention, a recognition awarded annually to a bar association which supports and defends its members. In February 2019, the Crimean Bar Association decided to maintain the membership of human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov, despite the formal request of disbarment received from the Crimean Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

You are invited!

UIA, in collaboration with the Luxembourg Bar Association, will be organising the Award Ceremony as an ancillary event to the 2019 UIA congress in Luxembourg. We would be pleased to have you join us for this prestigious event! More detailed information to come!