The Albies were created by George and Amal Clooney to shine a protective spotlight on courageous justice defenders who are at risk—sending a message to those who abuse human rights that the world is watching.

The Albies are named after anti-apartheid hero Justice Albie Sachs, who received a lifetime achievement award at our inaugural event.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Albie taught us the power of those three little letters – why.

He used them to help transform his own country and in doing so, he challenged us to use them to transform our own. That’s what we honor tonight—not just a single man’s legacy of progress but the possibility of progress that’s yet to be written, possibility that lies inside all of us.

Michelle Obama Former First Lady of the United States

Courageous justice defenders around the world face grave dangers that cannot be eliminated overnight. The Albies to shine a spotlight on the danger that those heroic groups and individuals are facing, raising the stakes for their persecutors and telling them the world is watching.

Amal and George Clooney
Dr. Denis Mukwege

Lifetime Achievement In The Pursuit Of Justice: Dr. Denis Mukwege (Congo)

Dr. Denis Mukwege 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.

Dr. Denis Mukwege (Torleif Svensson)
Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi

Justice For Women: Niloofar Hamedi & Elahe Mohammadi (Iran)

These courageous young women journalists 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.

Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi (SalamPix/Abaca/Sipa USA)
Truth Hounds field researchers interview a witness

Justice For Survivors: Truth Hounds (Ukraine)

Truth Hounds is on the frontlines in Ukraine, investigating atrocities committed by Russian forces. 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 enable the prosecution of Russian commanders in multiple countries under the principle of universal jurisdiction, the legal tool that recognizes that some crimes are so serious that the duty to prosecute them transcends all borders.

Truth Hounds and IPHR field researchers interviewing a witness. (Daniel Rosenthal)
Mazen Darwish

Justice For Journalists: Syrian Center For Media And Freedom Of Expression (Syria)

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression 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.

Sirikan Charoensiri, Co-Founder and Deputy Director of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, after she was charged criminally for defending her clients who were pro-democracy student activists in 2016.

Justice For Democracy Defenders: Thai Lawyers For Human Rights (Thailand)

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights 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 her work representing pro-democracy activists. She remains under constant threat.

Co-Founder and Deputy Director of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Sirikan Charoensiri (TLHR)

Previous Recipients

Last year, we honored the inaugural Albies winners for their tireless work in the pursuit of justice all over the world.

Justice Albie Sachs was honored with a lifetime achievement award;

Filipino journalist Maria Ressa was honored with the Justice For Journalists award;

iACT, an organization that supports survivors of genocide in refugee camps, received the Justice For Survivors award;

Belarusian human rights group Viasna was awarded the Justice For Democracy Defenders award; and

The Samburu Girls Foundation, a Kenyan-based organization, was honored with the Justice For Women award.


Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

George and Amal Clooney


Brad Smith and Kathy Surace-Smith



Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation


Eric and Jill Becker


A&E Networks


Bank of America


Kathryn and Ken Chenault


Creative Artists Agency

Joan Ganz Cooney and Holly Peterson Fund

Randi and Joel Cutler

Steve Ells

Kelly and Alec Gores

Agnes Gund

Stephanie March and Dan Benton


Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)

Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović

James and Azita Walton


Covington & Burling LLP

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP

Perkins Coie LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP

CFJ would also like to thank Diageo, Fish & Richardson, Jim and Ann Gianopulos, Goodman Family Foundation, Greenberg Traurig, Andrew and Ellen Hauptman, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Susan and David Rockefeller, and Will Zeckendorf for their support.