Amal Clooney and George Clooney speak onstage at the Clooney Foundation For Justice Inaugural Albies ceremony

Clooney Foundation for Justice Announces Winners of the 2023 Albies

For the second year in a row, the Clooney Foundation for Justice will honor courageous defenders of justice at The Albies, CFJ Co-Founders Amal and George Clooney announced today.

The awards—named after Justice Albie Sachs for his seminal role in ending apartheid in South Africa—aim to shine a spotlight on brave individuals who, at great personal risk, have devoted their lives to justice.

This September, Amal and George Clooney, along with the President of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, will host The Albies at the New York Public Library. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, Microsoft, and Versace are CFJ’s leading partners for the event.

The Albies will once again see prominent figures from the worlds of human rights, business, entertainment, fashion, and technology come together to show their support for five awardees whose work and sacrifices CFJ will honor. Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Matt Damon, Alicia Keys, Andra Day, Julianna Margulies, John Oliver and Donatella Versace are just some of the guests who will be attending. Other surprise attendees will soon be revealed.

“Courageous justice defenders around the world face grave dangers that cannot be eliminated overnight,” said Amal and George Clooney. “But what we can do, in addition to our Foundation’s daily work, is shine a spotlight on the danger that these individuals are facing, raising the stakes for their persecutors.”

At this year’s Albies, the Clooney Foundation for Justice will bestow the following awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: to Congolese gynecologist and human rights advocate Dr. Denis Mukwege, for his heroic leadership to stop rape as a weapon of war and save the lives of women in the DRC;
  • Justice for Women Award: to Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, for their fearless reporting that brought the death of Mahsa Amini, who was in Iranian police custody for not covering her hair, out of the shadows;
  • Justice for Survivors Award: to Ukrainian human rights NGO Truth Hounds for their work to bring justice to the people of Ukraine by uncovering war crimes committed within the course of Russian aggression in the country;
  • Justice for Journalists Award: to the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression for their advocacy for free speech, freedom of the press, and other human rights in Syria;
  • Justice for Democracy Defenders Award: to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, for their defense of thousands of students, activists and journalists who have been arrested under Thailand’s laws criminalizing peaceful protest and speech.

More details about our awardees can be found below.

“We are thrilled to announce this year’s awardees for The Albies; they are heroic journalists, human rights defenders, and lawyers from the DRC, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, and Thailand who are risking their lives in pursuit of justice,” said Amal and George Clooney. “The Albies are a homage to those whose fearless devotion to human rights deserves admiration and support.”

The Clooneys, along with Darren Walker, who is also a CFJ board member, hosted the first-ever Albies awards last year. Aloe Blaac, Oscar Isaac, Dua Lipa, Nadia Murad, Michelle Obama, John Oliver, Julia Roberts, Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, and others were among the figures who came to honor CFJ’s inaugural awardees: South African Justice Albie Sachs; Filipino Journalist and Nobel Prize Winner Maria Ressa; and human rights groups iACT (Chad); Viasna (Belarus); and the Samburu Girls Foundation (Kenya).

More information about this year’s Albies will be released soon.

About our Awardees:  

Denis Mukwege, winner of the Lifetime Achievement in the Pursuit of Justice Award, is a world-renowned doctor and human rights advocate from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the world’s leading gynecologist treating survivors of wartime sexual violence, and a global campaigner against rape as a weapon of war. In 1999, he founded Panzi Hospital, which has treated more than 70,000 victims of sexual violence. He has survived an assassination attempt, his home has been invaded with his family held at gunpoint, and he has seen his friend and security guard killed by gunmen. Despite continuous death threats against him, Dr. Mukwege continues his medical and advocacy work to save women’s lives in Eastern Congo. Dr. Mukwege is a Nobel Peace laureate and serves on CFJ’s board of directors.

 Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, winners of the Justice for Women Award, are courageous young women journalists that brought the death of Mahsa Amini—who died in Iranian police custody after being detained for not covering her hair—out of the shadows. Hamedi was the first journalist to publish photos of Amini on life support and her despondent parents embracing in a Tehran hospital. Mohammadi reported on Amini’s funeral, the site of an early protest that is now a movement led by young women. Hamedi and Mohammadi were arrested and falsely accused of being spies for the CIA. Both women are in prison awaiting trial. They face the death penalty.

Truth Hounds, winner of the Justice for Survivors Award, is on the frontlines in Ukraine, investigating war crimes committed within the course of Russian aggression in the country. They gather information from eyewitnesses in active war zones, document crime scenes with photos and video, and provide evidence to prosecutors. Working closely with CFJ, they build evidence-files to enable the prosecution of Russian commanders in multiple countries under the principle of universal jurisdiction, the legal tool that recognizes that crimes such as genocide are so serious that the duty to prosecute them transcends all borders.

Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, represented by its president, Mazen Darwish, winner of the Justice for Journalists Award, advocates for freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and human rights, despite constant threats from Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime. Founder Mazen Darwish survived torture and imprisonment in Syria and is a leading figure in the pursuit of justice and accountability, including for journalists who risk their lives to report the truth to us all. 

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, winner of the Justice for Democracy Defenders Award, defends thousands of students, activists, and journalists who have been arrested under Thailand’s laws criminalizing peaceful protest and speech—including “insulting the monarchy.” CFJ is proud to partner with these fearless lawyers. Sirikan June Charoensiri, the organization’s co-founder, has faced multiple prosecutions—Thailand’s military regime even charged her with sedition for participating in a pro-democracy gathering. She remains under constant threat.

About The Clooney Foundation for Justice

CFJ’s mission is waging justice to create a world where human rights are protected and no one is above the law. We operate in over 40 countries, providing free legal support to victims of human rights abuses. Our aim is to protect those who are being persecuted and ensure their perpetrators are brought to justice, with a focus on protecting women, journalists, defenders of democracy and minorities.

To learn more about CFJ, you can watch this video.

For more information on our three initiatives—TrialWatch, The Docket and Waging Justice For Women, please visit our website:

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