On October 23, Leyla Yunus was named among winners of 2014 Polish Sergio Vieira de Mello award. The award handed annually for the past 10years is named after Brazilian United Nations diplomat who worked for the UN for over 34 years and received much praise for his work in the field of humanitarian and political programs of the UN.
Leyla Yunus is this year’s winner in the category of “people” [the second award is handed to non-governmental organization] for her valuable work and contribution to track two diplomacy work.
Her award was
by a friend, Atakhan Abilov. In his moving speech he said “Leyla would have come here with posters of political prisoners” had she been free. Abilov stressed the poor conditions Yunus family is being held under. “She is tortured, beaten, her hair is pulled and she is thrown to the ground” said Abilov referring to Yunus recent beating she had to take from a prison guard.
While reading the laudation, Enrique ter Horst, former Deputy of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced some more words of praise for Leyla Yunus, highlighting the injustice done to her and the importance of this award going to someone like Leyla Yunus. “It is a moment when we acknowledge the courage of people like Leyla Yunus who are ready to defend such ideals as solidarity, justice, freedom and the rule of law. These values are defended by them in the face of dictators whose imagination fails to stretch beyond the simple expedient of locking their opponents into prison”, said former Deputy.
In addition on October 24, the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition
its decision to nominate Leyla Yunus for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.