On Sunday, Jan. 24th, 2016, 150 people filled the room for a celebratory memorial evening in Los Angeles, California. MPV & celebrity guest speakers and artists honored the tireless efforts of activists and their families who have fought against human rights abuses in the world and sought to affirm the equal worth of all human beings. Through a colorful program of personal tributes, poetry readings, and live music, we honored these heroic defenders of truth, humanity, & #FreedomOfConscience.
This event was in honor of:
- Raif Badawi - imprisoned for 10 years and sentenced to 1000 lashes for critically analyzing the oppressive theocracy and archaic status quo in Saudi Arabia.
- Waleed Abu Al-Khair - Raif's lawyer, sentenced to 15 years for defending Badawi’s right to free speech.
- Farkhunda Malikzada - a 27 year old theology teacher who publicly opposed a prominent mullah who sold charms & took advantage of the poor, was lynched by a mob of over 50 men in Afghanistan.
- Samira al-Nuaimy - tortured and murdered at the hands of the so-called Islamic State inIraq after criticizing its barbarism and destruction of Islamic heritage sites.
- Salwa Bugaighis - lawyer, political & human rights activist, murdered in Libya for fostering egalitarian governance.
- Sabeen Mahmud - human rights activist & NGO worker, assassinated for shedding light on the atrocities faced by minorities in Pakistan.
- Saado Ali Warsame - a Somalian parliamentarian and singer of socially relevant songs who was gunned down by Al Shabaab in 2014.
- Nisha Ayub - arrested, fined and charged simply for being transgendered in Malaysia.
Islam Behery - a progressive Islamic scholar jailed for challenging Sunni Islam's al-Azhar University religious ideology in Egypt.