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Church of Scientology International Announces World-wide Human Rights Hero Contest

At a Hollywood event featuring Golden Globe-winning actress, Anne Archer and Ms. Norma Foster, President of the Pacific-LA Chapter of the United Nations Association, Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) in partnership with the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology unveiled two new international human rights awards. The awards sparked so much interest that the event was webcast to human rights advocates around the world.

The deadline for nominations for the two awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in the promotion of human rights, is April 30th, 2006. The Youth for Human Rights Hero Award recognizes those twenty-one years of age and under and the Know Your Rights Hero Award is for adults.

Ms. Anne Archer, praised the awards, which acknowledge “ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things, ” and announced her own human rights initiative, the creation of Artists for Human Rights International, a human rights group which works with artists to forward positive human rights measures and overcome the repression of artists and their work.

The event also featured Canadian actor Tyler Hynes, spokesperson for Youth for Human Rights in Canada; Al Buttnor, event coordinator and Director of Public Affairs and Human Rights of the Church of Scientology of Toronto; Claire Kevitt, Youth spokesperson for YHRI; Gayle Thorson, Chaplain of the Laguna Beach Police Department; Gino Montesino, actor and anti-gang activist; Leisa Goodman, Human Rights Director of the Church of Scientology International and Mary Shuttleworth, founder of Youth for Human Rights International.

“There are human rights heroes in all walks of life,” said Ms. Goodman, “people whose work is rarely acknowledged. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written in the belief that the ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.’ It is our hope that these awards will inspire thousands more to join in the crusade to create peace through human rights. As L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion once wrote, ‘Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.’”

Information about eligibility for the Human Rights Hero Awards and nomination forms are available at www.youthforhumanrights.org.

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