Global Exchange Human Rights Awards Ceremony to be Held on May 12 in San Francisco

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

San Francisco - Global Exchange will honor impressive and inspiring human rights pioneers Dr. Paul Farmer and the Center for Constitutional Rights at its Fifth Annual Human Rights Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 12 at 6 PM in San Francisco. This year’s ceremony, which will be held at the San Francisco Gift Center Pavilion, 888 Brannan Street, will also feature a “Young Leader” award, to be presented to Camilo Mejia.

Global Exchange’s international human rights award recipient is Dr. Paul Farmer, the world-renowned infectious disease specialist, medical anthropologist, and Harvard professor who was the subject of Tracy Kidder’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains. Farmer has served the poor in Haiti’s Central Plateau for over twenty years, drastically reducing TB and controlling AIDS there. He is about to inaugurate a new project in Rwanda.

Global Exchange’s domestic human rights award will go to the Center for Constitutional Rights. CCR spearheaded the effort to uncover human rights abuses in Guantanamo; won a landmark ruling against Bosnian Serb leader Radonvan Karadzic for war crimes; and recently filed suit in Germany to hold US leaders accountable for human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib. CCR director Kevi Brannelly, formerly co-executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, will be accepting the award on behalf of CCR.

Camila Mejia will receive Global Exchange’s Young Leader Award. Mejia was deployed in Iraq in April of 2003, and refused to return after a two-week leave in October of that year. He had seen the suffering of the Iraqi people, whose country was in ruin and who were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an occupying army. Mejia applied for conscientious objector status, but was found guilty of desertion and was just released in February 2005 after a one-year prison sentence.

The Human Rights Awards dinner, Global Exchange’s major San Francisco event of the year, is an uplifting and fun evening filled with inspiring presentations, good food, music and dancing. Tickets are $150 and benefit Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights organization dedicated to ensuring that the rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are respected and upheld by our world’s governments and private institutions.

##

Extra info: 
Contact: Andrea Buffa (415) 575-5552