Thursday 27 September 2012
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FOEI Chair Nnimmo Bassey to be awarded 2012 RAFTO prize

Friends of the Earth International

BERGEN (NORWAY) / LAGOS (NIGERIA), September 27, 2012 – Friends of the Earth International, the world's largest federation of grassroots environmental organisations, is proud to announce that its chair, Nnimmo Bassey, who is also Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria [1], will be a recipient of the 2012  Rafto Prize for Human Rights. [2] 

The Rafto Prize 2012 will be delivered in Bergen (Norway) on November 4, 2012. 

The Rafto Foundation has awarded annually - since 1987- the Rafto Prize for Human Rights to advocates of human rights and democracy. Several Rafto Laureates have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [3]

The announcement that Nnimmo Bassey is the recipient of the 2012 award was made today at 10am during a press conference at the Rafto Human Rights House in Bergen, Norway. 

The 2012 Rafto Prize will be awarded to Nnimmo Bassey in recognition of his long-term fight for people’s rights to life, health, food and water in a world affected by climate change and mass environmental destruction. “Through his rights based work and criticism of prevailing systems, Bassey has shown how human rights can help mitigate the effects of these changes,” says the Rafto Foundation.

Nnimmo Bassey said:

"I am honored and humbled by this announcement. I hold the Rafto Foundation in high esteem for its commitment to human right defenders. I have campaigned on oil pollution and human rights in Nigeria for decades. Standing with impacted communities we continually demand justice. We press on, convinced that truth will prevail.”

He added: “We expect justice to be done very soon, after a major court case hearing against Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell in The Netherlands. Shell's incredible contamination in Nigeria will be under scrutiny at a court hearing in The Hague on October 11 and the verdict is expected in early 2013,” he added. [4]

Nnimmo Bassey is one of Africa’s leading advocates and campaigners for the environment and human rights. Bassey has tirelessly stood up against the practices of multinational corporations and the environmental devastation they leave behind, destroying the lives and trampling on the rights of local people.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chair, Tel:             +234 80 37 27 43 95       (Nigerian mobile number) or email: nnimmo (at) eraction.org

Kari Amble, The Rafto Foundation, Head of Information, Tel:             +47 55 21 09 75        Mobile:             +47 91 31 44 17        E-mail: kari.amble (at) rafto.no 

NOTES TO EDITORS

[1] For Nnimmo Bassey’s biography and a selection of high-resolution, free to use photo portraits  go to http://www.foei.org/en/media/photos/nnimmo-bassey-photos

[2] For more information about the 'Rafto Prize 2012 please visit: www.rafto.no

[3] The Rafto Laureates whom have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize are: Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma (Rafto Prize in 1990), people of East‐Timor by Josè Ramos‐Horta (Rafto Prize in 1993), Kim Dae‐jung, South‐Korea (Rafto Prize in 2000), and Shirin Ebadi, Iran (Rafto Prize in 2001).

[4] For more information about the court case against Shell visit : 
http://www.foei.org/en/media/archive/2012/key-hearing-in-court-case-on-oil-giant-shells-nigerian-oil-pollution