Tribute to Leah Levin

June 11, 2024

The Martin Ennals Foundation is deeply saddened to announce the passing away of Leah Levin, a dear friend of Martin Ennals who co-founded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 1993.

Moved by justice and the respect for human rights, she advised, supported, and shaped the Board until 2013, ensuring that the Foundation would best serve human rights defenders and their struggle worldwide. The Foundation wishes to thank her for her lifelong dedication and insights, which helped build its history and legitimacy up to this day.

Hans Thoolen, founder of the Martin Ennals Foundation and current President of the Jury, recalls her tireless contribution:  “She was very passionate, she served and led a range of human rights organisations and collaborated globally with some of the world’s leading activists. Even after leaving the Board, she would still call me yearly to check on me and the Foundation. I already miss her. My thoughts are with her and her family.”[i]

The Martin Ennals Foundation expresses its most respectful condolences and deepest sorrow to Leah Levin’s relatives and loved ones. We encourage everyone to join the ceremony to celebrate her life on 13 June 2024, 4 pm BST (, and to leave a message at

[i] Obituary of Leah Levin: 1926 – 2024, Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders and their awards, 7 June 7 2024