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Author Choman Hardi receives Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law

14 December 2023: Dr Choman Hardi, author of the novel, Whispering Walls, published by Afsana Press, has been awarded the 2023 Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, for showing “outstanding commitment to human rights”.

The Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law honours “civil society's commitment to human dignity and the inalienable human rights of all people,” Germany’s Federal Foreign Office said in a press release today, 12 December.

Hardi was one of this year's twelve winners of the prize, which was announced today by the foreign ministers of Germany and France, Annalena Baerbock and Catherine Colonna, marking the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly.

The German Embassy in Baghdad congratulated Hardi in a tweet, saying: “We are proud to announce that one of this year’s recipients of the [Franco-German] Human Rights awards is Dr. Choman Hardi, an outstanding personality and human rights champion who’s work is contributing to the promotion of equality of men and women in [Iraq].”

Hardi was subject to threats by some conservative and Islamist groups for her work on gender equality, establishing a centre for gender studies at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, and for lecturing about LGBTQ+ issues.

Reporting on the prize, a Kurdish TV programme on women’s issues pointed out that while Hardi’s poetry “is taught [in schools] in Europe, she has been threatened with death in the [Kurdistan] Region”.

Choman Hardi is the author of critically-acclaimed books in the fields of poetry, academia, and translation. She is an educator, poet, and scholar whose work is informed by an intersectional approach to inequality, renowned for her pioneering work on issues of gender and education.

Her debut novel, WHISPERING WALLS, was published in September 2023 by Afsana Press.

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