Odhikar’s Adilur Rahman Khan honored with RFK Award


The award—which honors courage and innovation for social justice—could not have been bestowed on a more deserving candidate than Khan, who has selflessly battled impunity for decades in the face of considerable adversity, refusing to give up his struggle even when confronted with systematic intimidation and harassment.

As secretary of Odhikar, Khan has achieved impressive results, working closely with the Coalition to successfully push for ratification of the Rome Statute in Bangladesh.


For a decade, Odhikar organized international workshops and conferences involving key stakeholders, produced studies to facilitate implementation, and disseminated important information on the Statute among government officials. On 23 March 2010, Bangladesh became the 111th state to join the ICC.

Odhikar now closely monitors the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh, which deals with crimes allegedly committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

Beyond its work on ensuring justice for the worst international crimes, Odhikar also raises awareness of and advocates for policies to address human rights abuses, monitors elections and trains human rights defenders.


Because of his fearless defense of human rights in Bangladesh, Khan, his family and his organization have faced threats, intimidation, harassment, detention and charges. The grace, perseverance, strength and commitment which Khan has exhibited in dealing with these difficulties is truly remarkable and worthy of the recognition he has received.

In 2014 he received the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, was a runner-up for the Frontline Defenders Award and is among three final nominees for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

We are delighted that our long-time partner’s work is being rewarded and congratulate him on this very well-deserved recognition.

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