Ngawang Sandrol

Ngawang Sandrol, protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC on December 2, 2004 asking for the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

Ngawang Sangdrol was nominated for the title “International Woman of the Year” by a panel of judges from the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta in Northern Italy. She was one of of four finalists chosen from 33 female candidates committed to human rights and justice from across the globe.

The Tibetan nun was selected for her “peaceful fight for the independence of her country and respect for freedom and human rights”, it said in an official statement from the Regional Authority’s offices in Rome. Sangdrol was arrested for the first time at age 13 had been undergoing a 21-year sentence in Drapchi Prison, Lhasa, when she was released in 2002. Sangdrol was imprisoned for her non-violent activities, including demonstrations, against Chinese rule in Tibet.

Tamara Chicunova, founder of “Mothers Against the Death Penalty” in Uzbekistan, was announced as the winner at an event on Friday, December 3. The other finalists were:

  • Corinne Kumar: Philosopher and Secretary General of El Taller, an international NGO committed to international women’s human rights
  • Joya Malalai: Delegate to the Afghani Grand Council who protested against high ranking positions for former mujahidin fighters