The Stieg Larsson Prize 2012 is awarded to Maryam Al-Khawaja for her courageous struggle for democracy and human rights. With the internet and social media as a tool, and through untiring activism and the power of the word she turns the spotlight on injustices in her home country. In spite of threats and harassment against herself and her family she continues to work for a tolerant and more democratic state of Bahrain. Her achievements are entirely in the spirit of Stieg Larsson.
ABOUT MARYAM AL-KHAWAJA
Maryam was born in Syria since her family was exiled from Bahrain, an island country near the western shores of the Persian Gulf, at the time. Her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is a prominent Bahraini human rights activist. Maryam’s family relocated to Denmark when she was two, where she was granted political asylum and eventually Danish citizenship. The family moved back to Bahrain in 2001 following a general amnesty by the King.
In 2002 her father co-founded and headed the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), a non-profit non-governmental organization. The aim of the BCHR is “to promote democracy and human rights in accordance with international norms” through “advocacy, training, workshops, seminars, media campaigns and reporting to UN mechanisms and international NGOs”.