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Penn jets into Dublin to give out special honour

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AWARD: Sean Penn presents the Front Line Defenders Award to Ms Noorzia Afridi, also pictured are Denis O'Brien and Mary Lawlor. Photo: Mark Condren

AWARD: Sean Penn presents the Front Line Defenders Award to Ms Noorzia Afridi, also pictured are Denis O'Brien and Mary Lawlor. Photo: Mark Condren

AWARD: Sean Penn presents the Front Line Defenders Award to Ms Noorzia Afridi, also pictured are Denis O'Brien and Mary Lawlor. Photo: Mark Condren

SEAN Penn was in Dublin today to honour a Pakistani women's rights group whose members have risked their lives.

The actor attended a function in Dame Street's City Hall where he presented the Front Line Defenders Award to Noorzia Afridi, who accepted it on behalf of SAWERA.

Ms Afridi established the organisation in tribal Pakistan along with her sister Farida, who was murdered in 2012.

Addressing the gathering, Noorzia recounted how her sister "was shot dead by militants in her own home".

"She dedicated her life to educating girls, empowering women and helping them to raise their voices on many issues affecting women," she said.

"We operate our programmes in the most hostile zone of a tribal region known for its lawlessness and community conflicts and as a hub of militants."

Speaking of his own experience, Penn said he had travelled "many countries in moments of great challenge".

He added: "I have often been struck by the quiet dignity and courage of ordinary people in desperate circumstances, the people who rise up from the dust from yet another disaster.

"What infuriates us most is when the very people who try to defend the rights of those in ravaged communities themselves become targets."

COMURPHY@HERALD.IE


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