Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize 2011

Prix International des droits de l'homme Ludovic-Trarieux 2011

Premio Internacional de Derechos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2011

Internationalen Ludovic-Trarieux-Menschenrechtspreis 2011

Prêmio Internacional de Direitos Humanos Ludovic Trarieux 2011

Premio Internazionale per i Diritti Umani Ludovic Trarieux 2011

Ludovic Trarieux Internationale Mensenrechtenprijs 2011


Depuis/Since/Desde/Dal/Seit 1984

“L’hommage des avocats à un avocat ”

“The award given by lawyers to a lawyer”

“El homenaje de abogados a un abogado ”

“L'omaggio degli avvocati ad un avvocato”

Die Hommage von Anwälten zu einem Anwalt



The Ludovic-Trarieux

International Human Rights Prize 2011


Le Prix Ludovic-Trarieux Fathi TERBIL



Prize will be presented on 1st December 2011 in Brussels by Mrs Viviane REDING, Vice president of European Union, commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

Fathi Terbil (Arabic : فتحي طربيل‎), 41 years-old, is a Libyan lawyer and human rights activist. He represents the relatives of over 1000 prisoners allegedly killed by Libyan security forces in Abu Salim Prison in 1996.

Fathi Terbil's arrest in February 2011 sparked a demonstration in Benghazi on 15 February by around 200 relatives of the deceased prisoners, which began the 2011 Libyan protests.

The protests reportedly began after the arrest of Fathi Terbil who represents relatives of more than 1,000 prisoners allegedly massacred by security forces in Tripoli's Abu Salim jail in 1996. He was later said to have been freed.

Several years ago Terbil got the best case of his life when the Qadhafi regime brutally suppressed a mutiny at Abu Slim prison near Tripoli in 1996. Human rights organisations say 1,200 prisoners were massacred in two or three hours. One of Terbil`s brothers, cousins and a brother-in-law were among the deceased. The prisoners mutinied to demand better conditions, fair trials and visiting rights.

Since agreeing to represent a group of families in Benghazi, who lost loved ones in the crackdown, Terbil has been arrested seven times.

On 17 April 2010, he was demonstrating as the lead coordinator for the victim's families, of the Abu Salim prison massacre in marching in front of Benghazi Court demanding that the Libyan government disclose the facts and events surrounding the June 1996 massacre.

A government supported families' association for the prison guards and police involved in the massacre rallied a counter-protest and attacked the victims' families.  The Secretary of the   association led the throng armed with a large machete. He  slashed the head of Fathi Tarbil, who would later be taken to hospital for emergency treatment.


Four days after massive protests forced Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to resign after nearly 30 years in power, the Libyan security forces came for Terbil again.

On Feb 15, about 20 heavily armed security personnel came to arrest him at home. He was taken to Abdallah Senussi, who is in charge of Qadhafi`s security personnel and who was in Benghazi. The news spread quickly among the victims` families who decided to demonstrate for his release, with a protest up to 2000 people in front of Police Headquarters in Benghazi.

Fathi Terbil was finally released at dawn on February 16.


On Feb 17, the uprising began in Benghazi and the city fell quickly to Qadhafi`s opponents. This was accompanied by simultaneous protests in Al Bayda and Az Zintan, where police and security buildings were set on fire. Protests continued throughout the following day, growing in size. A police station was also set into fire in Al-Quba.


 On 20 February, Terbil told Al Jazeera that security forces - sometimes firing from civilian cars without license plates - had killed dozens, perhaps hundreds, of protestors in Benghazi.

Created in 1984, the "International Human Rights Prize Ludovic -Trarieux” is awarded to " a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who thoroughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form ".


It is the oldest and most prestigious award given to a lawyer in the world, commemorating the memory of the French lawyer, Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), who in the midst of the Dreyfus Affair, in France, in 1898, founded the " League for the Defence of Human Rights and the Citizen ", because, he said: " It was not only the single cause of a man which was to be defended, but behind this cause, law, justice, humanity ".


The first Prize was awarded on March 29th, 1985 to Nelson Mandela then in jail. It was officially presented to his daughter, Zenani Mandela Dlamini, on April 27th 1985, in front of forty presidents of Bars and Law Societies from Europe and Africa. It was the first award given to Mandela in France and the first around the world given by lawyers. On February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela was released. Since then, it was decided that the Prize would be awarded again.


Since 2003, the Prize is awarded every year in partnership by the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, the Human Rights Institute of the Bar of Paris, the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Brussels, l'Unione forense per la tutela dei diritti dell'uomo (Roma), the Bar of Luxemburg, the  Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin, and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE)


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