Iraqi civil society network recognized


The Iraqi nonviolence network La’Onf has been awarded the 2009 Rights & Democracy’s John Humphrey Award in appreciation of its work to promote peaceful and non-violent political alternatives for Iraqis.

Formed in 2006, La’Onf is a network of 120 civil society groups from every region, including a number of grantees of the National Endowment for Democracy. The network ranges from human rights, student and women’s groups, to trade unions, humanitarian organizations and cultural associations. La’Onf is Arabic for ‘non-violence’.

“In a country where war has been raging since 2003, the La’Onf network offers a peaceful and non-violent alternative to Iraqis who wish to participate in the reconstruction of Iraqi civil society institutions and promote democratic change,” said Aurel Braun, Chair of Rights & Democracy’s Board of Directors. “The involvement of Iraqi civil society actors from all sectors is necessary for the democratic development of the country, and for the defence of human rights, especially those of women.”

Rights & Democracy has organized a tour which will bring Mr. Ibrahim Ismaeel, Chair of the Board of Directors of La’Onf and Ms. Saba Jabbar, Programmes Coordinator, to public events in Edmonton (November 25), Vancouver (November 27), Toronto (December 2), Montréal (December 7) and Ottawa (December 8).

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