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CEPOS Freedom Award 2012 - Ali Abdulemam

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Published on May 23, 2013

The 21st of May 2013 the Danish think tank CEPOS awarded the annual Freedom Prize of 60,000 USD to the well-known Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam.

Already by late December 2012, CEPOS decided that the annual Freedom Prize of U.S. $ 60,000 would be awarded to Ali Abdulemam for his many years of struggle for the right to express criticism of the regime he grew up in and especially his defence of human rights and democracy . Earlier this month, it was announced that the Bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam had successfully fled from his homeland after living underground since 2011. Thus, it has only now become possible for Abdulemam to come to Denmark to receive the award at CEPOS on 21 May.

"Ali Abdulemam is not just a brave man who paid a very high price for following his conscience and defending freedom and democracy. In a world where the Arab revolt has resulted in disturbing religious extremism and sectarian violence, Abdulemam is also a crucial symbol that there are voices in the Middle East for whom what matters is not whether you are Shiite or Sunni, Christian or Muslim, but that all people have basic human rights that must be respected regardless of religious or ethnic background. Therefore, Ali is a more than deserving recipient of the CEPOS Freedom Prize" says Director of Legal Affairs, Jacob Mchangama, CEPOS.

Ali Abdulemam, originally trained as a computer engineer, started the pro-democracy news forum "BahrainOnline.org" in 1998 and, because of his early involvement in the blogosphere, is known as 'the blog-father'. Because of his fearless and principled defence of human rights and democracy, Ali Abdulemam has been repeatedly imprisoned. In 2011, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia because of his political activities.

In April 2013, Abdulemam managed to flee from Bahrain, hidden in a secret compartment in a car. Abdulemam was driven across the border into Saudi Arabia and on to Kuwait, where fishermen sailed him to Iraq. From here he could fly to London, where he immediately got asylum. You can read the BBC's description of the story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middl...

CEPOS Freedom Award is sponsored by CEPOS Chairman Bjorn Høi Jensen, an MSc in Economics. and board member of Rockwool International, amongst others.

CEPOS (Center for Political Studies) is an independent Danish think tank promotion a society based on freedom, responsibility, private initiative and limited government.

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