On May 24, Freedom House, an independent organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, awarded its Freedom Award to Hala Aldosari, a visiting scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and a Saudi women’s rights activist, recognizing her work to protect and improve the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. She shared the award with Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of the Iraqi Parliament.
Receiving the award at Freedom House’s 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Newseum in Washington, DC, Aldosari said: “I’m deeply honored to receive such a prestigious distinction and to be among iconic freedom advocates. This event granted the women of Saudi Arabia a much-needed visibility at a time of serious challenges and transformations. The Freedom Award is a recognition of women’s activism in Saudi Arabia despite the severe political restrictions on their rights.”
Other honorees included U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin as the recipient of the Leadership Award; Héctor Horacio Magnetto, the head of Argentina’s Grupo Clarín, who received the organization’s Freedom of Expression Award; and the Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer SE, which was presented with the Corporate Leadership Award.