The 2019 International Hrant Dink Award goes to
The eleventh International Hrant Dink Award was presented on Sunday, September 15th with a ceremony held at the Istanbul Lütfi Kirdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre. This year's awards were granted to Nebahat Akkoç, who works tirelessly to raise awareness among women on women's human rights and opposes male violence and Agnes Kharshiing from India who defends the rights of the poor, women, children and the disadvantaged in the region where she lives and also struggles for environmental rights.
The award ceremony was hosted by Ece Dizdar and featured the musical performances of Maral Ataman, students of Hrant Çizmeciyan and Büyük Ev Ablukada.
From the beginning of work to defend the rights of others, Agnes Kharshiing from India has publicized the rights violations suffered by women, and the stories of how these stories are covered up. She speaks out boldly against the corruption in the state's policies in agriculture and relieving poverty, and willingly takes on the risk to her life as she makes the years-long illegal mining known to the public. She continued the rights' struggle, against all obstacles, to defend the rights of the poor, women, children and the disadvantaged in the region where she lives. Kharshiing received her award from human rights defender, award committee member Emma Sinclair-Webb and 2018 International Hrant Dink Award laureate Murat Çelikkan. In her speech, Kharshiing said "Public should start speaking out, give assistance to the vulnerable, help them when human rights are violated so that humanity overcomes hatred. Together we can do a lot and usher to bring peace in this world where children can be filled with love and not fear."
The second laureate of the 2019 International Hrant Dink Award has been Nebahat Akkoç from Turkey, who has been endlessly encouraging all women, not only in twenty-three provinces but throughout Turkey, she opposes male violence and the social inequality it creates and as a rights defender distant from political polarization, she courageously stands against all manners of violence, wherever and whomever it comes from and continues her work on women's human rights. She has received her award from the award juries Ercan Kesal and Sarkis. In her speech, Akkoç said "I accept this precious award, on behalf of all the women who, believe that revolution begins within themselves and within the family, who bear in mind all the costs while standing against violence, and allowing us to dream of a new world by developing new means to overcome the violence that they have experienced."
As part of the ceremony, a video featuring a selection 'inspirations' has been shown to salute people and organisations from Turkey and around the world who raise hope for the future with their actions. 16 people and initiatives from Turkey to Kongo, from Syria to Scotland, from Algeria to Holland who spark change with their struggle for women's and human rights, refugee rights, environment and animal rights alongside their quest for peace, equal citizenship, democracy and justice were among the 'inspirations' of this year.
The award jury for this year is composed of, 2018 International Hrant Dink Award laureate, human rights activist Murat Çelikkan, 2018 International Hrant Dink Award laureate human rights organization Mwatana, human rights activist and former judge Albie Sachs, political scientist Ayse Kadioglu, writer, actor and director Ercan Kesal, human rights activist Özlem Dalkiran, historian Ronald Grigor Suny, artist Sarkis, musician and political activist Serj Tankian, women's rights activist Zainab Salbi and the President of Hrant Dink Foundation Rakel Dink.
The International Hrant Dink Award was previously presented to, Murat Çelikkan, a human rights activist who conducts projects on collective memory and coming to terms with the past, Mwatana Organization for Human Rights from Yemen which struggle against the human rights violations and protection of rights in the country in 2018, Eren Keskin a lawyer who brings human rights into the agenda of Turkey and abroad, Ai Weiwei an artist draws attention to inequalities all throughout the world., tribal chief who works for children's human rights and education rights Theresa Kachindamoto, a civil society organisation that works for human rights and rule of law Diyarbakir Bar Association in 2016; women's rights activist from Saudi Arabia Samar Badawi and LGBT association KAOS GL in 2015; to forensic medicine specialist and human rights defender Sebnem Korur Fincanci and activist Angie Zelter in 2014; to human rights defender Natasa Kandic and Saturday Mothers / People in 2013; to writer Ismail Besikçi and human rights organisation International "Memorial" Society Russia in 2012; to journalist-writer Ahmet Altan and journalist, human rights defender Lydia Cacho in 2011; the Conscientious Objection Movement of Turkey and prosecutor Baltasar Garzón in 2010; to the journalist-writer Alper Görmüs and journalist-writer Amira Hass in 2009.
The award ceremony was broadcast live through www.hrantdink.org and www.hrantdinkodulu.org. Highlights of the ceremony were shared real-time in Turkish, English and Armenian through the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the Foundation and the award with the following #HrantDinkÖdülü, #HrantDinkAward and #ՀրանդՏինքՄրցանակը.