FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Geneva human rights award goes to Venezuelan political
prisoner Antonio Ledezma, mayor of Caracas
Daughter Antonietta Ledezma delivers moving acceptance speech: Click here for video
GENEVA, June 3, 2016 — At a Geneva ceremony attended by senior diplomats of the UN Human Rights Council, the non-governmental organization United Nations Watch bestowed its highest distinction, the Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award for 2016, upon Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Caracas who has been a political prisoner for over a year, now facing up to 26 years in prison on trumped-up charges.
“We are presenting Mayor Ledezma with our highest human rights award,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, at a Geneva ceremony on Tuesday that was attended by senior diplomats of the UN Human Rights Council, “for his inspiring defense of the universal human rights of the Venezuelan people.” Click here for text and video of award presentation.
“On the occasion of this award,” said Neuer today, “UN Watch calls on the government of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, to declare an amnesty of all political prisoner ahead of the Council’s 10th anniversary celebrations this month.”
“If Venezuela truly respects its pledges and obligations as a UNHRC member to uphold the highest standards of human rights, there would be no better way to show this than to free Antonio Ledezma, Leopoldo Lopez, and all other Venezuelan citizens who were arrested for the crime of opposing the current regime.”
The mayor’s 24-year-old daughter Antonietta Ledezma received the award on his behalf, delivering an exceptionally moving and powerful speech. Click here for text and video.
Antonietta Ledezma with UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer,
Geneva prize ceremony, May 31, 2016.