Jordanian human rights advocate Hadeel Abdel Aziz has returned the International Women of Courage Award given to her by the US State Department a few months ago in protest of America’s support for the Israeli massacres against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Abdel Aziz announced the decision on X saying she had informed the American embassy in Amman in an official letter sent on Monday, that she was returning the award because it “represents neither courage nor justice.”
In March, the State Department announced that Abdel Aziz will receive the award at a ceremony attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House over “her role in the field of defending human rights in Jordan”, and for being “a frontline defender of Jordan’s most marginalised, including juveniles, refugees, migrants, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.”
Human rights activist, Hadeel Abdel Aziz, is a frontline defender of Jordan’s most marginalized communities. Over more than a decade, she has demonstrated leadership and courage in presenting a clear-eyed vision for a fairer justice system in Jordan. #IWOC pic.twitter.com/ezM7yhTTVq
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 9, 2023
At the time, the State Department noted that Abdel Aziz, founder and director of the Justice Centre for Legal Aid (JCLA), has demonstrated, over more than a decade of leadership, courage in presenting a clear vision for how a fairer justice system can strengthen Jordan.
The Israeli occupation continues its aggression against the Gaza Strip for the 39th consecutive day, with unprecedented support from the US. Politicians, human rights groups and academics have warned that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and wiping out Palestinians from the Strip. More than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed, more than a third children, while hundreds more are at risk of dying now fuel supplies have run out and life saving medical equipment has been forced to shut down. Overnight Israel turned part of Gaza’s largest medical complex into an army barracks.