Prof. Mesfin honored with Pagels Human Rights Award
|NEW YORK CITY – The New York Academy of Sciences has honored jailed Ethiopian human rights defender Professor Mesfin Woldemariam with the year’s Heinz R. Pagels Award for his leadership in advocating for the disadvantaged and in promoting human rights, civil society, and a peaceful transition to democracy.|
Following is the full text of the press release:
This year’s recipients of the Heinz R. Pagels Award bestowed annually by the New York Academy of Sciences in recognition of services on behalf of the Human Rights of Scientists, will be honored as part of the Academys 188th Annual Business Meeting on September 28.
The meeting will be the organizations first event in its new headquarters at 7 World Trade Center, one block from where the Academy was founded in 1817. More than 200 Academy members and other guests will be in attendance at the meeting, set to begin at 6:30 pm in the Academys 40th floor quarters.
One among the 2006 winners of the Pagels Award is Prof. Mesfin Woldemariam, Ethiopian geographer and prominent human rights defender.
Professor Mesfin, who taught for many years at Addis Adaba University, is well known for bringing the widespread famine in Ethiopia to the world’s attention in the early 1970s, and he has continued to do research on the causes and consequences of famine. His work has led to his arrest several times. After peacefully expressing his political opinions on the contested elections in Ethiopia in 2005, he was arrested and charged with crimes that carry the death penalty. Although seriously ill with a pulmonary condition (for which he was recently hospitalized for several days), he has been in confinement since November 2005 and has been denied legal counsel for his trial.
The 76-year-old Prof. Mesfin is being honored by the Academy for his leadership in advocating for the disadvantaged and in promoting human rights, civil society, and a peaceful transition to democracy.