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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, the European Union in Lebanon earlier this year launched a social media competition 'Snap for Human Rights'. The public was invited to post a photo linked to one of four human rights issues: Freedom of Speech, Refugee Rights, Gender Equality, and Fighting against Torture.
Over 170 pictures from all over the country were received from both amateurs and professionals. A jury made up of photographers and human rights figures in Lebanon reviewed all submissions and voted for 12 finalists and a winner.
Today, on International Human Rights Day, the European Union in Lebanon unveiled the finalists' work in a photo exhibition at Antwork, Beirut. With his photo 'Fighting against Torture', Wissam Khoury was announced the winner of the competition and awarded a professional camera.
EU Ambassador Christina Lassen congratulated the winner and finalists and reminded everyone of the importance of this day. "70 years after the Declaration was signed, we still need to come together today to make sure this declaration is applied everywhere", she said.
"Human rights continue to be challenged”, she added. "Some would even argue that human rights are being challenged more today than just a few years back, both in this region and in the rest of the world."
The human rights photo exhibition is one of a series of initiatives by the European Union to mark the Universal Declaration for Human Rights anniversary. A human rights campaign on its social media channels involved key personalities in Lebanon. A video showcasing the story of Lebanese human rights defender Saja, from ABAAD - Resource Centre for Gender Equality, has been in the spotlight. The European Union also participates in the Beirut Human Rights Week at the University of Saint Joseph as well as events at the Lebanese University in Saida and by civil society. Protecting Human Rights is at the very heart of the European Union, who will remain a strong partner of Lebanon in this fight.
Background information on jury members: