Iran’s Human Rights Defenders have given this year’s Human Rights Activist award to Shaikh-ul-Islam Mawlana Abdol-Hamid Isma’eelzahi, Friday Imam of Sunnis in Zahedan.
The Human Rights Defenders Centre website reports that the Sunni leader was awarded the prize on Tuesday December 16 for “his relentless efforts to promote conciliatory relations among different religious and ethnic groups in Sistan-Baluchistan.”
The Human Rights Activist award of 2014 was given to the rector of Darululoom Zahedan in his home by the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.
The centre lauds Mawlana Abdol-Hamid’s “open and transparent activities modeling peaceful coexistence” as well as his advocacy for civil activists, women and the people of Sistan-Baluchistan despite pressure tactics by official bodies aimed at himself, his family and colleagues.
The Human Rights Defenders Centre was established by Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi in 2001, and it has given out an annual Human Rights Activist award since 2007. Ayatollah Montazeri, Ezzatollah Sahabi, Abbas Amirentezam and Taqi Rahmani are among its former recipients.