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Home / Press Release / Human Rights First Celebrates Human Rights Defenders, Pro Bono Lawyers Working for Refugees
October 19, 2020

Human Rights First Celebrates Human Rights Defenders, Pro Bono Lawyers Working for Refugees

NEW YORK – As threats to democracy and human rights remain on the rise and more people are displaced than at any time in history, Human Rights First is recognizing defenders of human rights and honoring legal professionals who work to ensure safety for refugees.

At its virtual celebration on October 21, host Nick Valencia of CNN, special guests former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley, actors Quincy Tyler Bernstine of Power on Starz and Linda Powell of Madam Secretary on CBS, and star of NBC’s The Voice Rayshun LaMarr will honor the pro bono attorneys working to win protection for refugees, activists fighting for government accountability and transparency on human rights, and the work done by experts and advocates at Human Rights First. 

“Human rights, while enumerated in governing documents around the world, are far from guaranteed,” said Human Rights First President and CEO Mike Breen. “The right to be free of persecution, to live in safety and peace, to participate in democracy, these rights have to be fought for and defended. We stand with and honor those who do that work, sometimes unseen and often persecuted for choosing to stand up to power.”

Click here to learn more about Human Rights First and to register to attend the 2020 Virtual Celebration.

Human Rights First will present Saudi human rights organization ALQST with its annual William D. Zabel Human Rights Award, in recognition of its unwavering commitment to human rights in Saudi Arabia and around the world. Presented annually for more than three decades, the award acknowledges and celebrates the work of courageous activists on the frontlines of the struggle for freedom and human rights. ALQST for Human Rights monitors and documents abuses perpetrated by the Saudi government, including repression of women and violations of Saudis’ human rights.

Click to learn more about ALQST and the Zabel award.

Human Rights First is also presenting the Marvin E. Frankel Award to three law firms: Covington & Burling LLP; Williams & Connolly LLP; and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, for outstanding dedication to pro bono service helping Human Rights First achieve justice for refugees, asylum-seekers and clients in immigration detention across the country.

Click here to read more about the Frankel Award and the three firms honored this year.