Irish News

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Sean Penn is guest of honour at Dublin human rights awards

Published 07/03/2014|12:07

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Actor Sean Penn presented the Front Line Defenders Awards 2014 to Ms Noorzia Afridi of SAWERA at an awards ceremony inAC Dublin City hall this morning. Photo: Mark Condren

Hollywood actor and charity advocate Sean Penn is in Dublin today as the guest of honour at the Front Line Defenders Awards.

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The Academy Award winner (53) made his way to Ireland earlier this week to mark the occasion, where he presented an award to women's rights campaigner Noorzia Afridi.

Ms Afridi founded the Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA) along with her sister Fareeda "Kokikhel", who was shot dead on her way to work in 2012.

The Front Line Defenders Awards honours and protects human rights defenders around the world since its establishment in Dublin in 2001.

Penn gave Ms  Afridi of SAWERA the plaque at Dublin City Hall before making his way to the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge for another event.

He attended the ceremony without his girlfriend, Academy award winner Charlize Theron, who stayed at their LA home.

The actor said he was floored with the calibre of character of those short-listed for the coveted award.

"When I hear the stories of the finalists of the Front Line Defenders Award, I am in awe," he explained to the crowd, which included Chairman of the Front Line Defenders Board Denis O'Brien, Executive Director Mary Lawlor and acclaimed director Jim Sheridan.

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