Loujain al-Hathloul (c) Marieke Wijntjes 1
Share this article

The online vote for the Freedom Prize 2020 ended on 6 June. With 42.2% of the vote, Loujain Al Hathloul, Saudi activist for women's rights, was designated laureate of this second edition of the Freedom Prize.

Freedom Prize

Loujain Al Hathloul, Saudi activist for women’s rights

Born in 1989, Loujain Al Hathloul is a Saudi women's rights activist who has been imprisoned in her country since May 2018 for defying the ban on women driving.

(Re)discover her video-portrait:

The first edition of the Freedom Prize was awarded to Greta Thunberg for her fight for climate justice. Watch the 2019 Freedom Prize ceremony.


The Freedom Prize, an educational initiative involving young people from start to end

The Freedom Prize is an initiative of the Normandy Region in partnership with the International Institute for Human Rights and Peace, the academic authorities of Normandy and Canopé. It invites young people from any country, aged 15 to 25, to designate each year a person or an organization engaged in an exemplary fight for freedom.

The 2020 edition was structured around 3 steps:

  1. A call for proposals "Our Freedom Prize 2020", launched on July 21, 2019, following the award of the first Prize to Greta Thunberg for her fight in favor of climate justice. It closed on January 17, 2020. 167 proposals, designating either a person or an organization, were received. They came from Burkina Faso, Canada, Colombia, the United States, Spain, France and Madagascar.
  2. An international panel of judges, made up of 24 young people of 13 different nationalities and chaired by Emmanuel Davidenkoff of Le Monde, met on February 14 and 15, 2020 in Caen to nominate the 3 finalists: Loujain Al Hathloul, Father Pedro Opeka and Nasrin Sotoudeh.
  3. An online vote, open from March 9 to June 6, 2020, for young people aged 15 to 25, of any nationality. Nearly 5,500 entries from 81 different countries and 5 continents of the world were recorded.


Discover the reactions on this result


"Hello everyone, my name is Lina. I am Loujain Al Hathloul's sister, laureate of the 2020 Freedom Prize. Thank you all for having voted for Loujain. Thanks to you she is not forgotten and her fight is not lost. Thank you again."


Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region, reacts to this result:

"Time and time again, the fight for freedom is constantly and tirelessly defended. I am delighted that our youth have chosen Loujain Al Hathloul, a prominent Saudi defender of women's rights who is in jail since almost two years, as the winner of the Freedom Prize 2020. This young woman is an exceptional embodiment of this exemplary commitment to freedom."


Emmanuel Davidenkoff of Le Monde and President of the panel of judges underlines the consistency of this victory:

“Loujain Al Hathloul, like Greta Thunberg in 2019, was the youngest of the Freedom Prize finalists. Is this what explains and explains the choice of the 5,500 young people who participated in the vote? I neither want nor can speak for them. But I see that this choice is coherent: from the parades against the climate crisis of last year to the mobilizations against racism and police violence following the terrible agony of Georges Floyd in Minneapolis, the world youth are on the front line to defend the universal values, first and foremost freedom. That she chooses to embody these mobilizations by rewarding the commitment of young activists seems to me to participate in the same idea: the youth wants a better world, she is ready to mobilize for this, she does not want her fight to be recovered , and she wants this to be known "

Share this page
Latest news :