A unique program for human rights activists around the world resisting tyranny through nonviolence

The Freedom Fellowship is a one-year program that awards ten human rights advocates, social entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders from countries ruled by authoritarian regimes around the world with the unique opportunity to dramatically increase the impact of their work. HRF is pleased to be partnering with the Center for Applied Nonviolent Tactics and Strategies (CANVAS), founded by Srdja Popovic, for the creation of this program. The fellows will work with HRF staff and a team of specialists to improve leadership, movement building, fundraising, media, and digital security.

"With the knowledge gained through the Freedom Fellowship, I co-founded Ríos de Pie (Standing Rivers), a nonviolent movement in Bolivia. It is becoming one of the leading nonviolent resistance movements to Evo Morales' authoritarian regime."

Jhanisse Vaca Daza, First Freedom Fellow


Activists primed to take on tyranny

Current Freedom Fellows


The class of 2019 Freedom Fellows includes:



Sudanese activist organizing professional and youth groups in the country against Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir’s dictatorship. She is part of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the outlawed umbrella group of unions currently leading protests.



Congolese human rights activist also known as “Congo’s Gandhi”. He is the leader of pro-democracy youth group LUCHA, which advocates for nonviolent, community-level change and governmental reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



Lawyer, historian and democratic activist from Moscow. He was a co-founder of the December 5 Party, a pro-democracy political party that was born out of the 2011-2012 anti-Putin protests.



Student activist, publisher, and author who advocates for education reform in Thailand. He founded Education for Liberation of Siam, a student group that challenges the Thai military junta’s unjust actions in the country’s education system.



Venezuelan human rights activist and nonviolence expert. He founded the international NGO “Un Mundo Sin Mordaza (A World Without Censorship)”, which has coordinated creative protests against Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship in 52 countries.



Nicaraguan pro-democracy and women’s rights advocate. She is the coordinator of Dialogue of Women for Democracy, a think tank that promotes open discussions about the challenges faced by women in Nicaragua.



Libyan activist and researcher who has worked on human rights, women’s rights, and youth empowerment since 2011. She is the co-founder of Tamazight Women’s Movement, an organization working on gender equality and research on the indigenous women of Libya and North Africa.



Togolese writer and democracy activist who began her career in activism when she was 13 years old. She co-founded the Faure Must Go movement, a hallmark of the Togolese struggle against Faure Gnassingbé’s oppressive rule.



Eritrean free-speech and democracy activist. She is the founder of One Day Seyoum, a human rights organization that campaigns for Seyoum Tsehaye’s release and raises awareness about the crackdown on democratic ideals in Eritrea.



Hong Kong human right advocate and activist, who works on freedom of assembly & expression, protection to HRDs, and capacity building to right-based CSOs. He is the chair of the board of the Hong Kong Civil Hub, which produces regular briefings on Hong Kong shrinking civic space, and build solidarity and connection with international rule of law & human rights communities.