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Monday 22 September 2014

Human rights activist Lawlor wins highest French accolade

Published 04/07/2014 | 02:30

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Mary Lawlor receives her prestigious award from the French ambassador to Ireland, Jean-Pierre Thebault

HUMAN rights activist Mary Lawlor, who founded Front Line Defenders, has received France's highest honour for service to the State and humanity in general.

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The CEO of the Dublin-based human rights organisation has been presented with the prestigious Order of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

The honour was bestowed upon Ms Lawlor by French Ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thebault at a reception at the French embassy yesterday.

It is the most prestigious honour which can be conferred by the French government.

Ms Lawlor, who established the human rights agency in 2001 with a start-up donation of $3m (€2.2m) from the businessman and Front Line Defenders chairman Denis O'Brien, is being honoured for her commitment to upholding human rights around the world.

"Francophone and francophile Ms Mary Lawlor defends the values of humanity and respect, which are shared by both France and Ireland," said a spokesman for the embassy.

Irish Independent

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