DHAKA: Rohingya lawyer Razia Sultana has been nominated among 10 extraordinary women from around the world to receive United States’ International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award of 2019.
Razia Sultana will be honored with the award in recognition of her advocacy of human rights concerning Rohingya crisis, according to a press release issued from the State Department of US.
Secretary of State Pompeo is set to host the event at the U.S. Department of State on Thursday (March 7).
First Lady of the United States Melania Trump will deliver special remarks at the ceremony.
Who is Razia Sultana?
Razia Sultana was born in Maungdaw, Burma, in 1973 to ethnic Rohingya parents and has devoted her career to advancing human rights for her own community and for all in Burma.
A citizen of Bangladesh, she has spent most of her life as a lawyer, teacher, and human rights advocate. Ms. Sultana has been working directly with the Rohingya, particularly women and girls, since 2014.
She practices law advocating for the Rohingya and conducts research and educational programs, specializing in trauma, mass rape, and the trafficking of Rohingya women and girls.
Since 2016, she has interviewed hundreds of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and published two reports – “Witness to Horror” and “Rape by Command” – documenting systematic sexual violence by Burmese security forces against the Rohingya.
She contributed to “The Killing Fields of Alethankyaw,” a recent report by the Kaladan press. Beyond being a lawyer and an educator, Ms. Sultana is a coordinator of the Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC) and a director of the Arakan Rohingya National Organization’s (ARNO) women’s section.
While she has always identified as a Rohingya, as a human rights activist, Ms. Sultana believes in rights and justice for all in Burma as a means to bring peace.
BDST: 1643 HRS, MAR 6, 2019