Tunisian Hela Kanakane awarded Pro-Asyl-2020 human rights prize
06/07/2020 19:54, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Tunisian Hela Kanakane has been awarded this year's Pro Asyl Foundation human rights prize along with two German activists Marion Bayer and Hagen Kopp, all of them from Watch the Med - Alarm Phone.

In a statement to TAP Monday, activist Hela Kanakane said the award, which will be officially presented on September 12 to the "Watch the Med-Alarm phone" network, is "the crowning achievement of the efforts made by this network, launched in 2014 to help immigrants stranded in the Mediterranean.

It also recognises its struggles to save the lives of migrants and protect them from human rights violations.

Kanakane, a 26-year-old Tunisian student, has been active in civil society and volunteered in several Tunisian organisations since the organisation of the 2015 World Social Forum in Tunis.

Mmembers of Alarm Phone have been answering emergency calls from those seeking protection who are in distress on the life-threatening route across the Mediterranean to Europe.

The Alarm Phone has been in contact with almost 3,200 boats so far and has tried everything to ensure the rescue of people in often desperate situations.

The Alarm Phone defies all inhuman attempts to block access to protection in Europe and always stays with those seeking protection. With the 24/7 emergency hotline in Europe and North Africa, Alarm Phone is consistently defending the right to life in the Mediterranean.

The activist said the network was launched in October 2014, a few months after the tragic sinking of a ship carrying more than 300 immigrants, near the Italian coast, due to the refusal of the Italian Coast Guard to intervene to save them despite the distress calls made by these migrants.

"Pro-Asyl" is an independent German organisation founded in 1986 and active in the defence of refugee rights and legal support for migrants.

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