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Pakistani Digital rights activist Nighat Dad wins 2016 Human Rights Tulip Award

Night Dad, Founder and director of Digital Rights Foundation and a famous face for the digital rights activism in Pakistan has been awarded the 2016 Human Rights Tulip Award. On 10th December 2016, at The Hague, on Human Rights Day, the official award ceremony will be held and Nighat Dad will be handed over a prize of bronze sculpture and also €100,000 intended to enable recipients to move on and further develop their work. Bert Koenders a foreign minister will present her (Nighat Dad) with the prize.


The human Rights Tulip Award, a yearly prize award that given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Human Rights defenders who participate and do an innovative approach to promoting the rights of the Human. According to minister Human Rights Defenders are the modern-day real heroes, despite so many threats Nighat Dad has received, she continues to fight to improve adherence to human rights in the state of Pakistan in a very unique and innovative way. Nighat Dad is a pioneer who is working to remove regularly obstacles to the internet access, particularly those that affect women.

The Human Rights Tulip Award is a popular award offered to activists of human rights for their unique and pioneering ways to safeguard the rights of the human in their respective communities. Government of Netherlands, while announcing the award stated,

“Freedom of Expression is under pressure in Pakistan. Increasing restrictions are being placed on the digital freedoms of individuals and civil society organizations alike. Ms Dad is a staunch defender of digital rights and the importance of protecting women and girls and marginalized groups on social media. Mr Koenders hopes that this prize will serve as a gesture of support for the freedom of internet users, especially women.”

A lawyer and human rights activist, Nighat Dad is popular for championing online safety and access to the internet in Pakistan and across the world. The Digital Rights Foundation was established in 2012, the purpose behind this foundation is to educate citizens, especially young women, on how to protect and respond themselves to online harassment.


Nighat Dad campaigned against legislation in support or favor of internet surveillance. Dad’s foundation has also opposed the dissemination of internet the information of the user to foreign and domestic state agencies and businesses. Nighat Dad was awarded the Atlantic Council Digital Freedom Award 2016, and she was among 6 ‘next generation leaders’ that named by the TIME Magazine last year.


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Sajida Kashif

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