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February 2014

2014 Alexander Prize to be Awarded to Hossam Bahgat, Egyptian Human Rights Defender

Hossam Bahgat, the founder of an organization that has pursued the cause of human rights in Egypt since 2002, will be the recipient March 20 of the 2014 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize from Santa Clara University School of Law.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 21, 2014— The founder of an organization that has pursued the cause of human rights in Egypt since 2002 will be the recipient of the 2014 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize from Santa Clara University School of Law. The award honors top legal advocates who have used their careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity, often putting their own safety on the line. 
The Alexander Law Prize will be presented to Hossam Bahgat at a ceremony March 20, at Santa Clara University’s Williman Room in Benson Center. A reception will be held at 5 p.m., with the presentation of the award and a discussion taking place at 6 p.m.
Hossam Bahgat is the founder and former executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a Cairo-based independent organization created in 2002 to defend human rights in Egypt ( 
Since 2002, the EIPR has used the power of research, advocacy, and litigation to promote and defend the rights to privacy, religious freedom, health, and bodily integrity. 
“Hossam Bahgat is an outstanding model of bravely using one’s gifts and talents to pursue a larger good of religious and political freedom,” said Santa Clara University School of Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. “We are proud to make this year’s award to him.”  
After the 2011 revolution, EIPR expanded its scope of work to include transitional justice, the protection of civil liberties and political rights, promotion of economic and social justice and reform of the criminal justice system. 
Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, calls Bahgat a Nobel Peace Prize-caliber advocate who is “passionate, strategic, visionary, and courageous.”  
With training in political science and international human rights law, Bahgat is also board chair of the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), and a member of the board of directors of the Fund for Global Human Rights. In 2011, Bahgat received Human Rights Watch’s Allison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. 
Human Rights Watch noted that after the Tahrir uprising began, the high-profile Bahgat and EIPR helped document violence against protestors and prisoners, and led a campaign against military trials of civilian protesters. After the ouster of President Mubarak, the group said, “Bahgat stepped up his efforts, seeking new laws and lasting institutional change to build a more rights-respecting Egypt.”
About the Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize
Katharine and George Alexander endowed the Law Prize to be awarded annually. The purpose of the prize is to recognize a person from anywhere around the world who has used his or her skill, knowledge, and abilities in the field of law to correct an injustice in a significant manner. The hope of the donors is that the Prize will not only give the public a higher regard for the legal profession but will also be an inspiration within the legal profession and a recognition of the good work of so many in the law. For more information see
About Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law, founded in 1911 on the site of California’s oldest operating higher-education institution, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. One of the nation’s most diverse law schools, Santa Clara Law offers its 875 students an academically rigorous program, including graduate degrees in international law and intellectual property law; combined J.D./MBA degree; and certificates in intellectual property law, international law, and public interest and social justice law. Santa Clara Law is located in the world-class business center of Silicon Valley, and is distinguished nationally for our top-ranked program in intellectual property. For more information, see
Media Contact
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