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Prestigious Liberty award for human rights heroes

Press release issued: 25 November 2011

An academic from the University of Bristol has been rewarded for his achievements in helping to promote the rights of others at the annual 2011 Liberty Human Rights Awards.

A University of Bristol academic who helps lead a non-profit-making voluntary group that monitors the state and civil liberties in the European Union to promote the rights of others has been rewarded at the  2011 Liberty Human Rights Awards.

Tony Bunyan, a Visiting Research Fellow in the University's Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and Director of 'Statewatch', a non-profit-making voluntary group that encourages informed discussion and debate through the provision of news, features and analyses in the fields of the state, justice and home affairs, civil liberties, accountability and openness.

The group’s network of independent volunteers, comprising lawyers, academics, journalists, researchers and community activists, has become one of the most respected and reliable sources of investigative journalism and critical research in the fields of the state, justice, home affairs and civil liberties in the European Union.

Tony Bunyan and Statewatch received the Liberty Human Rights ‘Long Walk’ Award for dedication to openness, democracy and informed debate about European institutions and for keeping its audiences reliably informed and suitably engaged for the last 20 years.

Other academics involved are Ann Singleton, Co-Chair of the Trustees for Statewatch and the Head of Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice in the School for Policy Studies and Paddy Hillyard, a Trustee of Statewatch and Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said: “We are full of admiration and appreciation for the dedication and commitment to the protection of rights and freedoms shown by all our winners and nominees.

“It’s been an interesting year for human rights and the fight to defend the Human Rights Act, which has never been more vital, is far from over.

“But we’re acutely aware that we’re far from alone in that promotion of human dignity, equal treatment and fairness and Liberty is immensely proud to honour our candidates’ achievements.”

The Liberty Human Rights Awards aim to honour those individuals and organisations dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of others by giving proper recognition to the people who provide essential support, information or inspiration on human rights issues. A full list of the winners is available on Liberty’s website.

The awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Marcus Brigstocke, was attended by Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, Attorney General Dominic Grieve and Baroness Hale, as well as senior figures from the fields of law, media and the arts, was Sir Patrick Stewart, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper were amongst those presenting the awards at London’s Southbank Centre.


Further information

Liberty is also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties. Founded in 1934, they are a cross party, non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in the UK. Liberty promote the values of individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness as the foundations of a democratic society.
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