Allard Prize for International Integrity Winner To be Named September 28 in Vancouver

The Peter Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada has announced the three finalists for the 2017 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

Peter Allard

Created and funded by alumnus Peter Allard, the $80,000 (USD) biennial prize is one of the largest awards in the world recognizing efforts to combat corruption and promote human rights.

The winner of the Allard Prize will be announced at a special ceremony at the University of British Columbia’s Old Auditorium on September 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm.

The keynote speaker will be American journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden to the world and co-founded the news outlet The Intercept.

The Intercept covers national security, politics, criminal justice and more, and gives its journalists the editorial freedom and legal support they need to pursue investigations that expose corruption and injustice.

The 2017 Allard Prize finalists are a Brazilian prosecution task force, an Azerbaijani journalist and an Egyptian human rights lawyer.

“These finalists have been selected from a diverse and fascinating pool of nominations,” said Catherine Dauvergne, Dean of the Allard School of Law. “Peter Allard’s commitment to shedding light on the work of advocates worldwide who are fighting corruption and promoting human rights is a crucial step to helping real change happen in the world.”

The Allard Prize for International Integrity was first awarded in 2013 to Anna Hazare for his work in leading successful movements across India to enhance government transparency and investigate and prosecute official corruption. The 2015 Prize went to John Githongo and Rafael Marques de Morais, two African journalists who exposed corruption in their respective countries of Kenya and Angola.

The finalists this year include the Brazilian Car Wash Task Force — Força Tarefa da Lava Jato — which has worked to prosecute some of the most powerful Brazilian political leaders, including the popular former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was convicted of corruption and money laundering last month.

“Operation Car Wash” began as a local money laundering investigation and grew into the largest probe to date uncovering cases of state capture and grand corruption in Brazil.

Its investigations have resulted in over 280 persons charged, 157 convictions, 1,563 years of cumulative jail time and restitution agreements of over $3 billion.

The Task Force’s work has led to the most significant anti-corruption bill in Brazil’s history, supported by over two million Brazilian citizens, and underscores the message that everyone is equal under the law and even the most powerful leaders will be held accountable.

Another finalist is Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist in Azerbaijan, Khadija.

Ismayilova writes about high-level corruption and misuse of power in Azerbaijan for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Radio Free Europe’s Azerbaijani service.

In 2010, Ismayilova helped in reporting on the corruption of Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev — that the President’s wife and children owned real estate in the United Arab Emirates worth $44 million.

In 2013, Ismayilova received private video footage of herself in her home from an anonymous source, with a note warning her to behave.

She was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison on charges that many saw as retaliation for her reports.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan released Ismayilova on probation but forbade her to travel abroad for five years without official permission.

The third finalist is Azza Soliman, a renowned women’s rights lawyer.

Azza Soliman is the co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA).

She has dedicated her life to fighting corruption and injustice faced by Egyptian women in both the private sphere and the judicial system.

She started her activism in 1995 when she was arrested after exposing the torture imposed on female members of the Islamic Group.

Soliman has worked to support women’s access to justice by using progressive interpretations of religion to influence legislation and combat the monopoly and corruption of religious institutions.

In 2015, Soliman was unjustly charged with unauthorized protest and public order violations after testifying against a policeman who she witnessed killing a female human rights defender during a protest.

In response, she founded the “Protecting Witnesses and Whistleblowers Coalition” to help enhance the Rule of Law. Currently, the Egyptian government has curtailed Soliman’s freedom by freezing her law firm’s and her own private assets and banning her from traveling outside Egypt.

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