MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) – The Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights activist who was targeted by the Taliban in 2012 has been given a human rights defender award named after a murdered Russian journalist, news agencies report.
Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen who boarded her schoolbus on October 9, 2012.
At the time of the assassination attempt she had already built a reputation within Pakistan for her advocacy of girls’ rights to education. The attack, her slow recovery, and continued dedication to children’s rights, won international media attention.
The campaign group, RAW in WAR, named the award after Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was killed in 2006. It said Friday that it chose Yousafzai “for her courage to speak out when nobody else dared, for her strength to give a voice to many women and girls, whose voices cannot be heard, and for her passionate belief in promoting education for girls,” the Associated Press reported.
Receiving the award in London on Friday evening, Yousafzai said “I am extremely proud to have been chosen to receive an award, which bears her name and hope that I may be as brave as she was. I greatly admire Anna s dedication to truth, to equality, and to humanity,” the news agency Agence France Press reported Saturday.
Yousafzai has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize and is on the shortlist for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize.