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2019 International Hrant Dink Award goes to Nebahat Akkoç from Turkey and Agnes Kharshiing from India

The eleventh International Hrant Dink Award was presented on Sunday, September 15th with a ceremony held at the Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar 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 Atamanstudents of Hrant Çizmeciyan and Büyük Ev Ablukada.

As part of the ceremony, the people and organisations from Turkey and from around the world, who raise hope for the future with their actions were saluted with the video ‘Inspirations 2019’.

Nebahat Akkoç, 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, she 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.”

Agnes Kharshiing from India speaks out boldly against the corruption in the state’s policies in agriculture and relieving poverty, and 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.”

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