Families for Freedom co-founder gets US Women of Courage Award
Date: 2020-03-04 14:00
Amina Khoulani, a survivor of the Assad regime’s detention and torture centers which have arbitrarily detained over 140,000 Syrians, is one of a dozen recipients of the US State Department's International Women of Courage Award (IWOC) for 2020.
“Khoulani has dedicated her life to helping the families of forcibly disappeared Syrians,” the State Department statement said.
A long-time civil society activist, she fled Syria in 2014 after her release from prison. She was imprisoned for six months for “peaceful activism” and her husband detained for two and a half years at the notorious Sadnaya Prison. They survived, but her three brothers died while in regime custody, the State Department statement added.
From this devastating experience, Khoulani rededicated her life to seeking information and justice for the families of the disappeared. She is a founding member of “Families for Freedom”, a women-led movement launched in 2017 by families who’s loved ones have been detained and disappeared in Syria. Forced from her home and country, living under constant threat as a refugee without government representation, she continues to advocate for human rights, democracy, and peace in Syria, the State Department statement concluded.
The Assad regime’s attempts to silence dissent and erase its crimes have failed, thanks to the courageous acts of bravery of Syrians like Caesar, Dr. Al-Ghawni, and Amina Khoulani, US Acting Permanent Representative Jonathan Cohen told UNSC last August.
Amina is one of the founders of Families for Freedom, a women-led Syrian movement calling for the release of detainees, and for justice in the many, many cases of detainees tortured and killed.
Amina told the story of her three brothers at Alive in Graves, an event in London organised by Amnesty International UK, Save The Rest, and Urnammu, in September 2018.
Amina Khoulani is one of the founders of Families for Freedom, a women-led Syrian movement calling for the release of detainees, and for justice in the many, many cases of detainees tortured and killed.
To Amina Khoulani, Dr. Al-Ghawni, and the hundreds of thousands of Syrians affected by the Assad regime’s practice of arbitrary detention, torture, disappearance, and killing, the United States stand with you in your pursuit of justice, and will spare no effort to bring the regime’s torture to a halt. The Syrian people deserve an end to their suffering, a pathway to justice, and the chance to live in peace, he added.
The other recipients this year are Zarifa Ghafari of Afghanistan, Lucy Kocharyan of Armenia, Shahla Humbatova of Azerbaijan, Sayragul Sauytbay of China, Jalila Haider of Pakistan, Ximena Galarza of Bolivia, Claire Ouedraogo of Burkina Faso, Susanna Liew of Malaysia, Amaya Coppens of Nicaragua, Yasmin al Qadhi of Yemen, and Rita Nyampinga of Zimbabwe.