Two Kashmiri activists to get prestigious Rafto Prize for human rights


Oslo, Sep 29 (Only Kashmir): Two Kashmiri activists from the Kashmir have won Norway’s Rafto Prize for human rights for their long-term struggle against violence in the Valley, the jury announced. The prize of Rs 1,307,200 INR will formally be presented on 04 November in Norway. Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar is among past winners of the prize.

“The Rafto Prize for 2017 is awarded to Indian human rights defenders Parveena Ahangar and Imroz Parvez, who have spent decades campaigning for basic human rights in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” reads the Award statement of Rafto.

“Their long campaign to expose human rights violations, promote dialogue and seek peaceful solutions to the intractable conflict in Kashmir has inspired new generations across communities. Ahangar and Parvez complement one another in their work against violations in the world’s largest democracy,” it added.

The prize of Rs 1,307,200 INR (17,750 euros) will be distributed among Parveena Ahangar and Imroz Parvez and will be formally presented on 04 November 2017 at the University Aula, Bergen, Norway.

Parveena Ahanger, nicknamed “The Iron Lady of Kashmir”, founded and leads the Association of Parents of Missing Persons after her 17-year-old son was kidnapped by security forces in 1990. She hasn’t heard anything from or of him since.

Her co-laureate, lawyer Imroz Parvez, founded the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) which promotes human rights and non-violence. It has documented the authorities’ use of torture in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pertinently, the Rafto Human Rights Prize is awarded annually in the memory of Professor Thorolf Rafto since 1987, to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves in their work for human rights and democracy. Four past winners of the prize Aung San Suu Kyi, Jose Ramos-Horta, Kim Dae-Jung and Shirin Ebadi went on to win to Nobel Peace Prize. (OK)