Maryam Al-Khawaja is a Danish-Bahraini human rights defender and international human rights advocate.
She is a leading voice for human rights and political reform in Bahrain and the Gulf region and she has been influential in shaping official responses to human rights atrocities in Bahrain and the Gulf region by leading campaigns and engaging with prominent policymakers around the world.
Maryam Al-Khawaja has served on the boards of CIVICUS, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, International Service for Human Rights, and Urgent Action Fund. She was previously Co-Director of Frida - Young Feminist Fund, Europe Director and Interim Advocacy Director at Physicians for Human Rights, Co-Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and Acting President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
Her father is Abdul-Hadi Al-Khawaja, a prominent Danish-Bahraini human rights defender and a prisoner of conscience. He was brutally and unjustly arrested, tortured and detained in Bahrain in 2011. To this day, he is still arbitrarily detained in the country, and in need of urgent medical attention and torture rehabilitation. Maryam Al-Khawaja has received numerous awards for her human rights work, including Freedom House’ Freedom Award and the Rafto Prize. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 along with her father and sister.