The award is given to individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others, according to Human Rights Watch.
“As director of the Center for Research and Development in eastern Zimbabwe, Farai Maguwu has conducted extensive research documenting horrific abuses taking place in the Marange diamond fields,” the global rights group said.
Maguwu partnered with Human Rights Watch researchers to document beatings, torture, forced labour, and killings of local villagers in Marange at the hands of soldiers.
Maguwu was arrested and languished in remand prison for a month after he met with a monitor from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to discuss the abuses he uncovered in Marange,.
He was denied medical care to punish him while he was illegally transferred him to various police cells with deplorable conditions even though he suffered from a serious health condition.
Maguwu was released in early July and only finally cleared of all charges in October.
His case helped generate international attention to the serious human rights violations taking place in Marange’s diamond fields and led to calls for the Zimbabwean government to remove its troops from Marange.
“Human Rights Watch honours Farai Maguwu for his tremendous courage in exposing abuses in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields and working to end rampant violations of human rights throughout the region,” the rights group said.