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Today we’re outraged and saddened at the assassination of Salwa Bugaighis, a tireless human rights activist who committed herself to defending the ideals of equality, freedom and peace. A key figure in the Libyan Revolution, Salwa refused to be silenced by fear; she used her voice to advocate for women’s equitable, meaningful participation in the political process. She was a leader whose hopeful vision for a Libya free of oppression, violence and injustice inspired and galvanized others.

Vital Voices was proud to honor Salwa with our Global Trailblazer Award in 2012. Salwa has been silenced for her courage to speak out; she reminds us that the absence of voices that demand human rights stalls societies and threatens our shared progress.

We at Vital Voices and the thousands of women in our global network mourn the loss of Salwa an activist, devoted wife and loving mother whose death represents a huge loss not only to her extraordinary family but to the Libyan people as a whole.

Alyse Nelson
President & CEO, Vital Voices

Message from Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Chair Emeritus of Vital Voices:

“I’m greatly saddened by the news of the assassination of Salwas Bugaighis. Libya and the world have lost a courageous leader for peace, justice and democracy. I knew Salwa, worked with her and was inspired by her. She would ask all of us who are mourning her murder to redouble our efforts to end intolerance and to promote justice, democracy and peace in Libya and around the world.”