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Palestinian human rights lawyer wins 'Alternative Nobel Prize'

Dec. 6, 2013 11:31 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 7, 2013 12:00 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian human rights lawyer from the Gaza Strip was presented with the Right Livelihood Award in Sweden on Monday, according to the organization's website.

Raji Sourani "has been defending human rights for all in Palestine and the Arab world for 35 years," a video on the website said.

In addition to being a lawyer, Sourani is also the executive director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a Gaza-based NGO.

Named a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International during a period of detention in 1988, Sourani has been imprisoned, both by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, on six separate occasions for "standing up to power."

Sourani is the first Palestinian to ever receive the award.

Alongside Sourani, the prize was awarded to Dennis Mukwege (Democratic Republic of Congo), Hans R. Herren (Switzerland), and Paul Walker (USA).

The Swedish Right Livelihood Award Foundation presents the prize, often referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prize, to individuals who have made outstanding, practical contributions to "lasting peace and justice in the world."

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