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Beatrice Mtetwa awarded international Ethics prize
Bell, SW Radio Africa
April 04, 2011
Human rights attorney Beatrice Mtetwa has been awarded
another international prize, for her work defending Zimbabwean rights
activists and other victims of human rights abuses.
The Case Western Reserve University in America will
recognise Mtetwa with the 2011 Inamori Ethics Prize, which recognises
"outstanding international ethical leaders." According
to the University the prize is awarded to an individual "who
has demonstrated exemplary ethical leadership and whose actions
and influence have greatly improved the condition of humankind."
The center said in a press release that Mtetwa is
a "hero to victims of human rights abuses, civil society activists
and foreign journalists covering unrest in her country."
"Mtetwa has fought against Robert Mugabe's
efforts to silence and hide conditions in Zimbabwe, and she has
become a hero to his victims, from the country's most vulnerable
citizens to reporters from some of the world's most prominent news
outlets," the Center said.
The Center's Director and Professor of Ethics,
Shannon French, had high praise for the rights defender and paid
tribute to her humble beginnings.
Mtetwa was born in 1958 in Swaziland and was the
first in her family to graduate from college. She earned a law degree
from the University of Botswana and Swaziland and served as a prosecutor
in Swaziland before moving to Zimbabwe. She left public service
to open a private practice in 1989 and "her sense of fairness
earned her a reputation as an advocate for the repressed, especially
for those suffering under Mugabe's rule."
What is unique about Mtetwa's non-violent struggles
French said, is that she has "created a public history of
court records and newspaper articles that chronicle the actions
of corrupt and unjust governments and will serve as a legacy for
current and future generations."
truly a gratifying bolt from the blue and a wonderful start to a
year which we all hope will bring better things to the long suffering
people of Zimbabwe," Mtetwa said of the award. "I am humbled
by this honor, which I gratefully accept on behalf of all the human
rights defenders in Zimbabwe."
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