Anna Politkovskaya Award 2010 to Darfurian Dr Halima Bashir

Posted: October 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
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“Come here my child ,

I have a heart for you.

Come here my child,

I have my tears for you…

‘You know what rape is?’ The face  is a mask of hatred-eyes closed to mine, his soldier’s breath stinking. ‘You think A second soldier lunges at me, pinning me to the floor. ‘We’ll show you what rape is, you black dog…’”

Three of them took turns to rape me, one after the other. They raped me until I lost consciousness. When I came to my senses I was alone, I wished I was dead.

The second day they came for me again. They raped me until I fainted. ‘You know what we have decided to do with you ?We are going to let you live because we know you’d prefer to die.’”

Darfurian Dr Halima Bashir has won Anna Politkovskaya Award 2010.

This is what Halima Bashir has had to go through simply because of her fight for human rights in Darfur. Darfur, says Bashir in her book “Tears of Desert,” is a word  soaked in suffering and blood now.

Halima Bashir is the first  woman in her village who has become a doctor at the age of 24.However being an intelligent black woman in Sudan , where  Arabs  enslave Africans, deeply troubled her. Treating the girls who were raped by Arab gangs  at the age of eight ,stitching them with no anaesthetic  in a rural clinic and standing up for their rights brought her  three days gang-rape. Every tear made her even stronger however. She has never given up , even  her heart died inside maybe thousand times after seeing Darfurians  killed, raped, ruined.

Doctor Halima Bashir fled Sudan and survived but what about the rest of Darfurians? Are we all going to watch them suffering?

Bashir’s endless battle to protect victims of War in Sudan , which she tells us in details in Tears of Dessert, brought her Raw in War’s  Anna Politkovskaya Award 2010  on 7 October. The ceremony  presented  by Jon Snow, took place at Frontline Club in Paddington. However Dr  Bashir ,who now lives in London ,could not attend the night to accept  the award due to recent threats she received .Audiences  met Bashir with a short interview  filmed hours before the event.

Anna Politkovskaya Award 2009 winner Leila Alikarami had to leave the 2010 award on the table as Dr Halima Bashir could not attend the ceremony presented by Jon Snow.

7 October  was fourth anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya ‘s assassination, who exposed  victimization of Chechens by  Russian and Moscow  backed Chechen officials. Politkovskaya’s murder has not yet been brought to justice and is still being questioned by millions of Russians but not yet by any  authority in Russia. Unfortunately Politkoskaya is not  the only woman  murdered while searching the truth and protecting the victims in conflict . Natalia Estemirova , who  is the first recipient of the award  ,was killed on 15 July 2009  while writing the next chapter of the same  battle  after Politkoskaya .

Afghan woman Malalai Joya  took it over from Estemirova  in 2008.Iranian lawyer and human right activist Leila Alikarami  and finally Bashir  have followed and showed  what can be done to improve women human rights. All of them  have been awarded with a big comma and they won’t be putting a full stop until  truth shines, human rights come to women’s lives ,peace arrives and freedom spreads.

One might wonder why all these recipients are women?

According to Raw in War  violence against women in War increases every day and it is history’s greatest silence . Rape has been used as a weapon against women in Wars. Women human rights defenders like Bashir  are being persecuted ,imprisoned and killed for speaking out on behalf of the victims.

Raw in War ,founded by Marian Katzarova ,in 2006 supports  and resources those  women who are victimized in war and those who defend women human rights in conflicts .

For more information

  1. Julius K says:

    I just wanted to say that I think it is amazing that they chose to give the Anna Politikovskaya Award to Dr. Halima Bashir this year. She is such a remarkable person who’s only desire is to spread the word against sexual violence and violence against women in Darfur, a topic that is so often ignored. A true view of the terror in Darfur is rarely seen or talked about because of the Sudanese culture and government restrictions but I just watched a movie called Attack on Darfur, and it is a disturbingly accurate look at the violence there and especially the violence against women.

    This is the first movie or documentary I have seen that comes anywhere close to showing the real level of danger for women in Darfur. I think she is one of the bravest women out there for speaking even after she was attacked.

    • sefrew says:

      Dear Julius,
      Many thanks for your comment.You are absolutely right,Dr Halima Bashir is a brave woman.It was a great idea to give her Anna Politkovskaya Award 2010.I was hoping to meet her at the ceremony however she could not join us due to recent threats.
      When I was reading her book “Tears of Desert”,I asked myself that why can’t anybody make this a movie and show the truth to the world?
      Sexual violence againts women is everywhere but it is intense and better hidden in War.We need to stop world from acting blind.
      I hope to write a progress the world will have made on the matter in future.
      Best wishes…

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