BERGEN: On Sunday 13 November, human rights defender Nodjigoto Charbonnel accepted the Rafto Prize 2022 at The National Stage in Bergen.
"The international opinion starts to look to Chad. We are no longer alone in our fight!
All photos: Ingvild Festervoll Melien/Rafto Foundation
Nodjigoto Charbonnel is leader of the organization Association Jeunesse pour la Paix et la Non-Violence (AJPNV) in Chad and the recipient of the Rafto Prize 2022.
Due to his work, Charbonnel has been detained and imprisoned three times. His family has also suffered harassment by state agents. Last year Charbonnel was forced into exile, but he quickly returned to continue the work. Despite the political repression, Charbonnel and AJPNV maintain a clear voice for the rights of victims of torture.
Charbonnel and his team assist survivors in rebuilding their lives after torture, and advocate the protection of human rights, and the prevention of torture and sexual violence by providing human rights education for youth and civil society.
- No longer alone
"This award for us is not a reward but another source of energy to enable us to carry out our fight on the front line. That is why we ask you to accompany us step by step in our daily struggle to translate this Rafto Prize into concrete actions for the fight against torture and all other forms of violence," the Rafto Laureate said in his acceptance speech.
"The international opinion starts to look to Chad. We are no longer alone in our fight," he continued - in front of a packed theatre this Sunday evening.
Sharing the same dream
Line Alice Ytrehus, Head of the Rafto Prize Commitee, talked about the effects of torture and the importance of strengthening civil society to abolish torture. Not at least, that we all share the same dream as Nodjigoto and his team at AJPNV:
"We share their that torture shall be abolished everywhere. We share the dream that the right of every person not to be subjected to torture is respected. We share the dream that AJPNV´s human rights education can be a model of inspiration everywhere. We stand up in solidarity with AJPNV and young people who promote human rights in Chad, Ytrehus said before calling Mr. Nodjigoto on the stage to accept the award.
After the ceremony with artistic performances by Norwegian artists such as Kay Irgens, Beharie and Moyka, everyone was invited to join the torchlight procession for human rights.