OSLO, NORWAY: Two Kashmiri activists on Thursday won Norway’s Rafto Prize for human rights for their long-term struggle against violence in the occupied territory, the jury announced.
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 Indian 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 Indian authorities’ use of torture in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan should 'pull out' of Kashmir first, suggests Achakzai
“Parveena Ahangar and Imroz Parvez have long been at the forefront of the struggle against arbitrary abuses of power in a region of India that has borne the brunt of escalating violence, militarisation and international tension,” the Rafto Foundation said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
The prize of $20,000 will formally be presented on November 5 in the western Norwegian town of Bergen. Named after the late Norwegian human rights activist Thorolf Rafto, four past winners of the prize -- Aung San Suu Kyi, Jose Ramos-Horta, Kim Dae-Jung and Shirin Ebadi -- went on to win Nobel Peace Prize, whose laureate for 2017 will be announced on October 6.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ