The Fritt Ord Tribute
Louiza Louhibi is being awarded the Freedom of Expression Foundation Tribute for her courage in the debate about sexualised violence against women and for actively opposing extreme attitudes that are based on religious and political prejudices.
Louiza Louhibi was violently attacked and raped in Oslo in 2008. The perpetrator also raped three other women. Han was sentenced to seven years of preventive detention, based, among other things, on Louhibi’s testimony.
Louhibi entered the public debate on rape last autumn: “I became a rape victim in 2008. But you can’t spend your whole life being a victim. Take action against rape now!” she wrote on Twitter. She followed up by giving several newspaper interviews and making TV appearances.
Her openness has made Louihibi the brunt of persecution, not least on Facebook. After an appearance on a debate programme on NRK1 (Norwegian public broadcasting) in January this year, she had to be driven home by plainclothes police officers. Now she carries a personal alarm for victims of violence when she is out and about.
Instead of living in fear, Louiza Louhibi has redoubled her fight against what, in an interview with NRK, she called “a small but growing group of young Muslim men who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Islam”. Among other things, she has posted a Facebook page against extremism on the Internet. She also recently warned the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) about a threat video against Norwegian State institutions.
Louiza Louhibi (21) lives in Oslo. Her parents have a French-Algerian background. She is politically active in the Norwegian Labour Party’s Gender Equality Committee and the Blindern Labour Party Youth.
The Tribute was awarded at Fritt Ord’s premises on Tuesday, 14 February 2012. The Freedom of Expression Foundation Tribute acknowledges remarkable efforts to promote free speech, often in connection with current events. The Tribute is accompanied by a cash award of NOK 100 000.