NEW YORK — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) welcomes today’s announcement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarding the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The Quartet is comprised of four of Tunisia’s key civil society groups and was recognized “for its contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”
“The Nobel Committee has brilliantly focused the attention of the world on the key role of civil society in the transition from dictatorship to democracy,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “In Tunisia, labor unions, business associations, human rights organizations, and legal groups helped overcome violence and tyranny. The Quartet established the foundation for a democratic society in a country that suffered for more than two decades under the repressive rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. If this transition is possible in Tunisia it is possible anywhere, it’s a matter of supporting civil society and having an uncompromising devotion to individual rights,” added Halvorssen.
The Quartet consists of the Tunisian General Labor Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade, and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. Through its annual Oslo Freedom Forum, HRF has highlighted and supported Tunisian civil society by featuring some of its leading voices, including the young intellectual Lina Ben Mhenni and the pro-democracy advocate Amira Yahyaoui.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.