According to a statement issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday, the winners are Abbé Benoît Kinalegu from (DRC) and Salah Marghani from Libya.
Kinalegu is a Congolese priest and director of the Dungu-Doruma Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace, who exposes abuses committed by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army and works to rehabilitate its victims.
Four suspected members of the LRA, including Joseph Kony have been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Marghani is a Libyan human rights activist and lawyer, who has worked to reveal the truth about human rights atrocities under Muammar Gaddafi and abuses still happening.
“They will join four other international recipients of the award as they are honored at the Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Annual Dinners in 15 cities worldwide in November 2012,” the statement reads.
The duo would be honored at dinners in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, with Kinalegu traveling to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and Marghani to Beirut.
“These human rights defenders have spoken out and helped people who needed protection in some of the most dangerous and difficult situations in the world,” the statement quotes Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW as saying.
“They show that courage and persistence can make a difference even during periods of conflict and violent transition,” he adds
The award is named for Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch's Africa division for almost two decades, who died in a plane crash in New York on February 12, 2009. Des Forges was the world's leading expert on Rwanda, the 1994 genocide, and its aftermath.