Human Rights Defender
Maryam Al-Khawaja is a Bahraini Woman Human Rights Defender, works as a consultant and trainer on Human Rights with NGOs, and serves on the board of multiple organizations. She previously served as Co-Director for the Gulf Center for Human Rights and as Acting President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. Al-Khawaja played an instrumental role in Bahrain’s democratic protests in February 2011, which triggered a government response of widespread killings, arrests, and torture. Due to her work, she has been subjected to assault, threats, defamation campaigns, imprisonment and an unfair trial. Al-Khawaja is a leading voice for human rights and political reform in Bahrain and the Gulf region. She has been influential in shaping official responses to the atrocities in Bahrain around the world. Al-Khawaja has received numerous awards for her work, including the Rafto Prize. The Al-Khawaja family was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 by an EU Parliament Member.