The Ridenhour Prizes today announced that Aicha Elbasri will be awarded the 2015 Prize for Truth-Telling. Her disclosure of secret documents — including thousands of pages of emails, police reports, internal investigations and diplomatic cables — exposed the failure of the UN peacekeeping mission to protect millions of civilians under its care, and the mission's complicity with the Sudanese government in concealing an ongoing war that thrust non-combatants onto the front lines. Her heroic stand, including her public resignation in protest, resulted in a series of articles in Foreign Policy Magazine that obliged the UN chief Ban Ki-moon to act.
Read the Foreign Policy series based on Elbasri's information here:
After exposing the secret war in Darfur, Elbasri has continued pushing for positive change. She's worked to halt the withdrawal of UNAMID troops, urged an end to ongoing ethnic cleansing, and encouraged the International Criminal Court to investigative recent atrocities.
"Before I decided to speak the truth about the UN cover-up of crimes against humanity in Darfur, I knew my decision would likely cost me my job, my UN career and all the privileges that come with it. I never imagined that my humble action would actually earn me a privileged place in the Ridenhour truth-loving family," said Elbasri. "I am pleased that this award will help to shine a light on Darfur while the UN quietly walks away amidst rising violence, leaving behind millions of civilians at the mercy of the death squads operating there today. It is my sincere hope that my words of truth will help lead to peace for the people of Sudan."
In reflecting upon its decision to confer the honor to Elbasri, the Ridenhour Truth-Telling award committee said, "In the spirit of Ron Ridenhour, whose 1969 letter to Congress and the Pentagon revealed the horrific events at My Lai — the infamous massacre of the Vietnam War — and exposed the reality of the war to the American public and the world, we are honored to award the 2015 prize to Aicha Elbasri. In awarding her this prize, we add our voices to hers in urging the UN to stop covering up war crimes and hope to support her work to protect the people in Darfur from the horrors of war."
Aicha Elbasri will be awarded the 2015 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling on Wednesday, April 29th. Click here to learn more about The Ridenhour Prizes.