The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, also known as “the Nobel Prize for human rights,” might be awarded to Mona Seif, a young Egyptian activist who is known for supporting terrorism against Israel.
Seif, a biology graduate student researching breast cancer mutations, became a prominent activist documenting the 2011 Egyptian uprising from Tahrir Square. She later started the group ‘No to Military Trials for Civilians’ to denounce the Supreme Council of Armed Forces abuses of power.
Her nomination sparked a backlash from pro-Israeli organizations. Human Rights Watch, who chose Seif and the other three finalists, also received harsh criticism.
Seif was nominated largely because of her Twitter account, which includes 220,000 followers. She uses this, and other social media platforms, to express her "tweets of terror" and her hatred for Israel.
In March 2012, Seif wrote, "I am ready to shed my blood in the West Bank and Jerusalem to become a martyr." She also repeatedly declared that, "the day will come when I fight to the death in Gaza." Seif consistently supports Palestinian Authority terrorism against the State of Israel, including firing missiles at Israeli civilians.
"Amnesty, shame," she tweeted, "we are not asking an occupied people to stop the occupation."
An Egyptian human rights activist, Omar Bakli, has spoken out against Seif by expressing his dismay at granting her the award: "The Martin Ennals Award is not intended for terrorist sympathizers." Bakli has repeatedly tried to cancel her nomination since April 2013.
Hillel Neuer, Head of the UN Watch, has pleaded with the committee to revoke Seif's nomination.
"I understand that you support peace, but Mona Seif is looking for ways to destroy the peace with violence," wrote Neuer, in an email to William Zabel, Chair of Human Rights First (HRF), the organization which nominated Seif.
"Human-rights organizations should be at the forefront of advancing egalitarian ideals. This means withholding international human rights awards from activists, like Ms. Seif, who have publicly voiced blatantly violent views," he added.
The winner of the award will be announced next week in Geneva during the medal ceremony. In a few days it will become clear whether Seif will be removed from the list of candidates or not.