Salima Ghezali

Sakharov Prize Laureate 1997
ghezali Salima Ghezali is an Algerian journalist, writer and women's rights activist. In the 1980s she became involved in the Algerian women's movement, amongst other things as a founder member of Women of Europe and the Maghreb and as editor-in-chief of NYSSA, the women's publication she herself founded.

A teacher turned journalist, she edited the French-language Algerian weekly La Nation from 1994, the most widely-read weekly in Algeria. As the 11-year civil war between the government and Islamist rebel groups, which began in 1991 raged, La Nation advocated political dialogue for all sides in the war, human rights and freedom of expression for all, and criticized both government and Islamic groups - the only paper to do so. For this, the paper was seized and suspended many times, and finally banned in 1996, after the appearance in Le Monde Diplomatique of Ghezali's report on the human rights situation in Algeria.

The publication of La Nation resumed in 2011 on the Internet. In a Letter from the editor, Ghezali explained the reasons motivating her: 'we cannot be indifferent to the dynamics of the young people in the Arab world who are fighting for their dignity and freedom. We cannot be indifferent to what is happening in our country. We want the Algerian people to be happy, because they deserve it. We want strong institutions, better human resources in a real democracy and the rule of law'. She concluded with a wish 'for a better Algeria, where good governance is the rule'.

Salima Ghezali has won a range of human rights awards and continues her activism on women's rights, human rights and democracy in Algeria. In 2013 she participated actively in Sakharov Prize Network events including a Sakharov Lecture in Marseille and the 25th Anniversary Conference. .