March 08, 2013
US Postpones Courage Award for Egyptian Activist
The U.S. State Department is postponing a Woman of Courage Award to an Egyptian human rights activist because she allegedly made anti-Jewish and anti-American remarks.
Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday the department will investigate Samira Ibrahim's alleged comments, which were posted on Twitter. Nuland says Ibrahim denies making the comments. Ibrahim told state department officials her Twitter account was hacked.
One of the alleged remarks welcomed last year's attack in Bulgaria on a busload of Jewish tourists. Another seemed to express support for the September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Nuland says the State Department picked Ibrahim for the award for what it calls her incredible bravery and being subjected to police beatings during the Tahrir Square protests that helped drive Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Secretary of State John Kerry and first lady Michelle Obama will hand out the Woman of Courage awards Friday, International Women's Day. Other recipients include activists from Afghanistan, Honduras, Nigeria, Russia, and Somalia. Three women from China, Syria, and Vietnam will be honored in absentia. An Indian activist will be honored posthumously.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.