A pro-democracy activist from Hong Kong and a Saudi women’s rights activist will receive the Medal of Freedom later this year.
The National Constitution Center announced on Tuesday that the annual award will be presented on September 21 to Jimmy Lai and Loujain al-Hathloul “for their courage and conviction in exercising the fundamental rights of freedom of expression, non-violent resistance and peaceful dissent “. share the prize of $ 100,000.
Jimmy Lai’s media company founded Apple Daily, a widely read and frequently critical Hong Kong and Communist Party of China tabloid that was forced to shut down in June. He faces charges of foreign collusion under the National Security Act and has been sentenced to jail for involvement in the 2019 pro-democracy protest movement.
Loujain al-Hathloul was held for three years in a Saudi prison for leading the campaign to legalize driving for women. She was arrested in May 2018 along with several other activists weeks before the Saudi government lifted the ban. Released in early February, she remains subject to numerous restrictions and has appealed against her conviction.
The Freedom Medal, created in 1988 to mark the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, is awarded to individuals who strive for the blessings of freedom for people around the world. Recent recipients include Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy, Senator John McCain, Representative John Lewis and Malala Yousafzai.