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Meron Estefanos

Meron Estefanos is a renowned Swedish-Eritrean journalist, author, human rights activist and advocate of victims of trafficking and torture who has been dubbed “The Huntress of Human Traffickers” for helping to to bring to justice 15 human smugglers.She is a member of the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights and has actively campaigned for freedom and democracy in Eritrea, a dictatorship from which citizens continually risk their lives to flee political repression, indefinite military conscription and forced labor. In response to the Eritrean’s regime’s total suppression of independent media in the country, she contributed to Eritrean exile media outlets, notably as a contributor to the news site Asmarino, a host for the Sweden-based radio station Voice of Maselna Delina, and a presenter of the weekly program “Voices of Eritrean Refugees” for the Paris-based Radio Erena.Since 2011, Meron has campaigned against the grave crisis of kidnapping and ransoming of migrants and refugees fleeing Eritrea. She has helped to rescue more than 16,000 Eritreans from drowning in the Mediterranean sea and negotiated for the release of thousands more who had been kidnapped and held hostage for ransom in torture camps. She was profiled in the acclaimed 2013 documentary film Sound of Torture, which chronicled her journey working with the families of Eritrean refugee hostages held for ransom.Meron is the co-founder of the International Commission on Eritrean Refugees and Stop Racism Now. She is the executive director of the Eritrean Initiative on Eritrean Refugees and the founder of the Meron Estefanos Foundation. She is the co-author of the books “Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between Life and Death” and ”Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond” and contributor to a wide range of studies, reports and academic publications on the smuggling and trafficking of human beings (STHB). She is the 2011 recipient of the the Swedish Publicists’ Association Dawit Isaak Award and the 2015 laureate of the ACAT Foundation’s Engel-du Tertre Prize.

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