Journalist Çelikkan and Yemeni Mwatana for Human Rights won Hrant Dink Award

Journalist Murat Çelikkan and the Yemeni organisation, Mwatana for Human Rights, won the 10th International Hrant Dink Award, Turkish news outlet Diken said on Sunday. 

Every year, Hrant Dink Foundation presents the award to individuals who take personal risks for achieving free and just world ideals, who break the stereotypes and use the language of peace and by doing so give inspiration to others, and organisations or groups that strive against discrimination, racism and violence.

Veteran Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who ran Agos, a newspaper serving Turkey’s 60,000 Christian Armenians, was gunned down in broad daylight on a busy Istanbul street in 2007.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Murat Çelikkan said he could continue his work thanks to people supporting peace although they sentenced to death as they challenge the "death and blood policy (of the government)." 

The spokesperson of Mwatana for Human Rights, Radya el-Mutawakel, said the situation of Yemen differs from Turkey; however, the human rights organisations of both countries face the same difficulties. 

"In spite of the very big differences on the situation between Yemen and Turkey, we still share many similar difficulties as civil society. Also, when we read more about Hrant himself and each person in the Jury, we even felt happier and prouder to be granted the award."

The Jury consists of human rights activists, actors, directors, musicians and writers; Eren Keskin, Ai Weiwei, Albie Sachs, Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Ercan Kesal, Özlem Dalkıran, Ronald Grigor Suny, Sarkis, Serj Tankian, Zainab Salbi and Rakel Dink.

Hrant Dink tried to play his role as a journalist to improve dialogue between Turks and Armenians. The International Hrant Dink Award is presented annually under the aegis of the International Hrant Dink Foundation at an award ceremony organised on Hrant Dink’s birthday, September 15th.
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