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Hrant Dink Award given to Saudi activist and Turkish LGBT rights group

in memory of the journalist killed in 2007

Hrant Dink International Award

Hrant Dink International Award Hrant Dink Foundation

Women’s rights activist Samar Badawi from Saudi Arabia and Kaos GL, an initiative that works for LGBT rights in Turkey, have been given this year's International Hrant Dink Award, dedicated to the Turkish-Armenian journalist murdered in 2007.

Samar Badawi is a leading voice for advocating women’s rights and for raising international awareness about the oppression of human rights defenders in her country, while Kaos GL was recognised for its persistent and efficient struggle for LGBT rights in Turkey, where violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans individuals continues to increase, a statement from Hrant Dink Foundation said.

These awards are given to “two people, groups, or institutions from inside and outside Turkey, who work toward a world free of discrimination, racism and violence and also take personal risks for their ideals, use the language of peace and by doing so, inspire and encourage others". The ceremony was held in Istanbul on Sept. 15, a date marking the birthday of Dink, killed by a Turkish nationalist outside his office in 2007.

Rakel Dink, Hrant Dink Foundation Chairman, and last year’s award laureate Şebnem Korur Fincancı gave the award to Elsa Saade on behalf of Badawi, who could not attend the ceremony due to a travel ban. Saade said how Badawi put her life in danger to fight for fundamental human rights and how she became an inspiration for thousands of Saudi women with her dreams and struggle to make them come true.

Ali Erol received received the award statue on behalf of Kaos GL from Ali Bayramoğlu, the Chairman of the International Hrant Dink Award Committee. Erol reminded that homosexuals lived their entire lives in the "disquiet" that took the life of Hrank Dink and noted that emancipation of homosexuals was a prerequisite for the liberalisation of the society. Erol also stressed the importance of figuring out the linkages between different forms of discrimination.

The Jury of the International Hrant Dink Award 2015 consists of Baskın Oran, Gerard Libaridian, Kenneth Roth, Kumi Naidoo, Mary Kaldor, Oya Baydar, Rakel Dink and 2014 International Hrant Dink Awardees Angie Zelter and Şebnem Korur Fincancı.

17 September 2015

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