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Nobel Peace Winner Tawakkul Karman on Yemen and the U.S. War on Terror


Tawakkul Karman, the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She is a Yemeni activist who founded Women Journalists Without Chains and has played a leading part in the struggle for women’s rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen.

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Yemeni activist and journalist, Tawakkul Karman, was one of the recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize awarded Friday. Karman spoke in New York City at the Brecht Forum in September 2010 about state violence, targeted killings and human rights abuses enabled by the so-called "war on terror." Democracy Now! was there and brings you part of her address. Karman notes that by cooperating with the Yemeni government’s repression of its opponents, the United States "has transitioned from being the leader of the free world to a watch dog for tyrant regimes." [includes rush transcript]


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to end today with the words of the new Nobel Peace Prize winner. There were three. They were three women. One of them comes from Yemen. Her name is Tawakkul Karman. She spoke in New York City at the Brecht Forum in September of 2010 about state violence, targeted killings and human rights abuses enabled by the so-called war on terror.

TAWAKKUL KARMAN: [translated] When the war on terror started, everything was over. Now we have a battle on two fronts: one against our government and one against the governments that support our government in all the violations that it is committing against its citizens. And this is, in summary, a description of the title of the CCR’s report: Yemen and the United States government killing innocent people under the name of the war against terrorism. This is the message I would like to give our friends here from the civil society organizations that are present here. This is the same message that we have delivered to the U.S. administration, also to the U.N. and the European Union, that we are partners in the development of democracy, of the fight for human rights and for civil liberties.

AMY GOODMAN: Tawakkul Karman, Yemeni activist and journalist, one of the three recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize announced on Friday. She was speaking at the Brecht Forum. She was the head of Women Journalists Without Chains. You can watch the full speech on our website at

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