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 The Wait Is Not Over... 

Date of Publish - Thursday, 1st March 2018

Human rights activists from Jammu and Kashmir, PraveenaAhangar and ParvezImroz were chosen for the prestigious Rafto Award 2017. The Norway based organisation whose awardees of yester year includes AungSan Suukyi, Jose Ramos-Horta, Kim Dae-Jung and ShirinEbadi the four who subsequently were awarded the Noble Peace Prize.

Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, its birth in 1986 was inspired by the demise of ThorolfRafto who believed to have met his end, fighting the odds then in Prague. The foundation by awarding the prize, claims to bring “attention” to the independent voices that due to oppressive and corruptive regimes are not always heard. Selection process for the prize, ensures that only those actively involved in Rights struggle, which comes under the ambit of ideals and principles underlying the “UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and that the candidate’s struggle for Human Rights should represent a “Non-violent” perspective.

2017’s Rafto awardee PraveenaAhangar referred to as” Iron lady of Jammu and Kashmir” founded the organisation APDP(Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons) after the mysterious disappearance of her son in 1995. The APDP as a civil society, pushes its demand through various tools like hunger strike, silent protest and through signature campaigns. APDP in its brief History has tried to gain the attention of Human Rights watchdogs and people of state, nation, and even those at the international level with its volunteers. Adding to that the Association seems to bring to light the issue, chiefly of“EnforcedDisappearances” and closely linked with it the “AFSPA” (Armed Forces Special Power Act). Further, it attempts to bring to fore, the plight of those bearing the brunt of the same, about whom PraveenaAhangar mentioned in her speech too while receiving the prize.

Another recipient of the award ParvezImroz serves as a patron of the Association Of Parents of Disappeared persons (APDP), a human activist lawyer, convener of International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights in Indian Administered Kashmir and besides these he also holds office of the president at the JKCCS (Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society). He has been reported to have filed thousands of habeas corpus actions on behalf of families who claimed their relatives have vanished in the custody. He is also a recipient of eleventh Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights prize by Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) that was first given to Nelson Mandela.

Author :
Ujjwal Kumar


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