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The Anna Dahlbäck’s Memorial Fund was founded to commemorate and continue the non-profit work within human rights that Anna Dahlbäck, lawyer and active in Amnesty International Sweden as well as Amnesty International, was dedicated to until her premature demise 2015.

The Foundation of Anna Dahlbäck’s Memorial Fund has chosen

Waleed Abu al-Khair


as receiver of the fund´s grant for the year 2024.

The motivation for the 2024 grant is:

The Saudi Arabian lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair has, for many years, courageously and skillfully worked for fundamental democratic values in his home country. He has defended human rights both within the framework of his profession and through the independent human rights organization MHRSA (NGO Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia) that he established. The organization is registered in Ontario, Canada, as it was denied a license in Saudi Arabia.

Waleed Abu al-Khair’s work for human rights and democratic reforms led to his imprisonment in 2013. He was charged and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2014, followed by 15 years of travel ban and fines. During his time in prison, he has been subjected to various forms of mistreatment and denied food and essential medication. He has gone on hunger strikes on several occasions, and human rights organizations in the West have highlighted his case and appealed to Saudi authorities for his release. He has received numerous awards, including the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize in 2011, the Olof Palme Prize in 2013, the Law Society Upper Canada Prize in 2016, the PEN Pinter Writer of Courage Prize in 2018, the Right Livelihood Award the same year, and the ABA (American Bar Association) International Human Rights Prize in 2019.
The long duration of his imprisonment to date and the years, which, one hopes, are few; that remain of his sentence, make it crucial to once again draw attention to his situation and ensure that he is not forgotten.

The choice of Waleed Abu al-Khair also aligns with the foundation’s statutory criteria: to make ‘contributions in the spirit of Anna Dahlbäck’ and demonstrate ‘significant commitment and courage’ in standing up for freedom of expression, opinion, and human rights.

The scholarship from the Anna Dahlbäck Memorial Fund, amounting to 50,000 SEK, will be awarded on September 6, 2024, in Stockholm. The situation does not allow for Waleed Abu al-Khair to attend in person to accept his award. Instead, a member of the ALQST for Human Rights, London will represent him.


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