The Venerable Luon Sovath, a human rights activist from Cambodia, is the 2012 Martin Ennals Award Laureate.

The ceremony took place at the Victoria Hall in Geneva, and was attended by various dignitaries from the international human rights community.

The second nominee, an Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh was unable to attend the ceremony, as she is currently incarcerated in Evin prison in Tehran, she was represented by Mrs Mahanaz Parakand, Mrs Sotoudeh's former lawyer.

The third nominee, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was represented by Said Yousif Almuhafada, who spoke on behalf of the center's imprisoned President, Nabeel Rajab and former-President Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who is currently serving a life sentence on charges of "organizing and managing a terrorist organisation”.

The Venerable Luon Sovath received the prize from Kyung-wha Kang, the deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, who lauded the courage of human rights defenders worldwide.

Sadrine Salerno, the Vice-Mayor of the City of Geneva, the Martin Ennals Foundation's main partner, dedicated her speech to human rights defenders who undergo torture, persecution and illegal detention.

Luon Sovath is the 21st laureate of the Martin Ennals Award.

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