Pakistani Digital rights activist Nighat Dad has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulip award 2016.
The award is presented by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ‘innovative human rights defenders.’ The award aims to support human rights defenders and organisations, publicise their efforts and inspire others. The winner is awarded a prize worth €100.000.
Nighat Dad is one of ten nominees for the award. Of these, three will be chosen by public vote as the top nominees. Dutch Foreign minister Bert Koenders will select the winner, whom he will present with the award – a bronze tulip-shaped statue – on International Human Rights Day, December 10.
This not the first time Dad has been nominated for an award. Earlier this year she was awarded the prestigious Atlantic Council Digital Freedom Award for 2016 for defending and advancing the cause of freedom. In 2015, she was selected among the six “Next Generation Leaders” by Time magazine for defending and ensuring rights of Pakistanis online.
A lawyer by profession, Dad set up the Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan in 2012, a non-profit organisation aimed at educating Pakistanis regarding their digital rights and how to respond to harassment online. The organisation also campaigns against legislation giving government bodies sweeping powers of surveillance online, dissemination of personal information of customers collected by telcom companies to government agencies and other organizations.
“We tell Internet users how to adjust their privacy settings, to make sure they have secure connections, change their passwords regularly and not to share unnecessary information,” Dad explains. “And women should come seek help if they are targeted and not feel ashamed.”