On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
Home / Event / Human Rights First Award Dinner

Human Rights First Award Dinner

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Cocktails 6 P.M.
Dinner and Program 6:45 P.M.
Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, New York City

2016 Human Rights First Award Dinner Co-Chairs:
Tom and Andi Bernstein
Daniel and Alisa Doctoroff
Matthew S. Dontzin and Elissa Doyle
Liz and Michael Rozen
William D. Zabel and Deborah Miller Zabel

Human Rights First Award Honorees:
Khaleel Aldakhi and Ameena Saeed Hasan

Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment:
Eye in the Sky, Gavin Hood, Director
John D. Hutson RADM JAGC USN (ret) and Helen Mirren, presenting

Marvin Frankel Award:
Blank Rome LLP (DC)
Latham & Watkins LLP (Houston)
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (NY)

Human Rights First Award

Khaleel Aldakhi and Ameena Saeed Hasan

Two years ago, the terrorist group ISIS launched a genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people and other minorities in northern Iraq. As part of its brutal onslaught, ISIS abducts Yazidi women and girls and subjects them to rape and sexual slavery.

Khaleel Aldakhi and Ameena Saeed Hasan—a married couple living near the Iraq-Syria border—saw the horror and knew they had to help, so they set up a rescue network. They receive furtive calls from enslaved women and make the perilous journey to rescue them. They help survivors recover from trauma and press for international help for the Yazidi people. Khaleel, a lawyer, and Ameena, a former member of parliament, risk their lives to save these women and girls—a project they have made their life’s work.

Human Rights First Award Winners Khaleel Aldakhi and Ameena Saeed Hasan
Sidney Lumet Award Winner Eye in the Sky

Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment

Eye in the Sky, Directed by Gavin Hood

American popular culture has the power to move and educate millions of people—here at home and around the world. Each year the Sidney Lumet Award honors a work of popular culture that raises awareness about human rights and provokes popular discussion about some of the most pressing political and social issues of our time.

This year we honor the film Eye in the Sky for its powerful portrayal of the ethical dilemmas posed by drone warfare, including how political and military leaders assess “collateral damage”—a term for which the film provides much-needed humanity. Eye in the Sky raises essential questions about the use of drones for targeted killing, prompting even-handed reflection and public debate about how technological advances change the way we think about the use of force in a perpetual war.

Marvin Frankel Award

Honoring Outstanding Dedication to Pro Bono Service

The Marvin Frankel Award was established in 2002 to honor the memory of our longtime chairman and to recognize law firms that exemplify Judge Frankel’s extraordinary dedication to human rights and commitment to pro bono service.

This year’s honorees have done outstanding work on behalf of refugees, helping to set the bar for others to follow: Blank Rome LLP (Washington, D.C.), Latham & Watkins LLP (Houston), and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (New York City).

2016 Frankel Award

2015 Highlights

Elisa Massimino with 2015 Human Rights Award Honorees

Antisemitism is surging across Europe. Stoked by ascendant neo-fascist parties and violent extremists trying to lay claim to Islam, mounting hatred has led to an increase in antisemitic attacks and worries that the continent is becoming unsafe for Jews. We know from history that when antisemitism goes unchecked it leads to attacks on other vulnerable minorities and eventually to societal breakdown.

In 2015, we honored three young Europeans from diverse faith backgrounds who are challenging this scourge in their own communities. Their courageous and imaginative advocacy is inspiring solidarity and action to build a better future. Like us, they know that antisemitism is a threat not only to Jews, but to all who value democracy and human dignity.


Acceptance Speech

Frankel Award

2015 Honorees

Jane Braden-Golay

Jane Braden-Golay


Jane Braden-Golay is originally from Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and studied Religious Studies, Public Law and Education at the University of Zurich...

Siavosh Derakhti

Siavosh Derakhti


While he was still in high school, Siavosh Derakhti became concerned about intolerance towards Jews in his home town of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city...

Niddal El-Jabri

Niddal El-Jabri


After the fatal attack on the Krystalgade Synagogue in Copenhagen in February, activist Niddal El-Jabri, whose family is Palestinian, felt the need to reach out...

2015 Sidney Lumet Award

Popular culture—television, movies, video games, music and other forms—has the power not only to entertain, but also to educate and inspire. It often confronts the most difficult political and social questions of the day. Human Rights First challenges the entertainment industry to recognize this power and tackle human rights issues with the accuracy and complexity they demand.

Sidney Lumet (1924-2011), renowned for the “social realism” in his best work, was an American director, producer and screenwriter with over 50 films to his credit. Film critic Roger Ebert described him as “one of the finest craftsmen and warmest humanitarians among all film directors.” In his memory, in 2011 we launched the Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment designed to honor those who shine a light on human rights problems and advance understanding in popular culture.

Past Dinner Highlights

2014 Award Dinner

Highlights include honoree Ryan Boyette and Lumet Award honoree 12 Years a Slave.

2013 Award Dinner

Highlights include honoree Dr. Denis Mukwege and Lumet Award honoree 42—The Jackie Robinson Story.

2012 Award Dinner

Highlights include honoree Chen Guangcheng and Lumet Award honoree Homeland.