Binayak gets South Korean human rights prize

Civil rights activist Binayak Sen has been honoured with the 2011 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, South Korea`s most prestigious award for those working on peace, democracy and justice in Asia.

Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 19:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Civil rights activist Binayak
Sen, recently freed on bail by the Supreme Court in a sedition
case, has been honoured with the 2011 Gwangju Prize for Human
Rights, South Korea`s most prestigious award for those working
on peace, democracy and justice in Asia.
The award was announced yesterday by 2011 Gwangju Prize
Committee in Seoul.

The prize, which carries a sum of USD 50,000 is awarded
each year on May 18 -- on the anniversary of the May 1980
Gwangju democratic uprising -- to a person or organisation who
has made significant contributions in the field of human
rights and democracy.

"Dr Sen, as an accomplished medical practitioner has
distinguished himself by his devotion to providing health
services for the poor and by his strong advocacy against human
rights violations and structural violence inflicted on the
poor," the award jury said in a statement on the website of
May 18 Memorial Foundation.
"He has also been active in the People`s Union for Civil
Liberties documenting human rights violations occurring during
the anti-Naxalite conflict," it said.

The jury this year received 32 nominations from countries
all around Asia. Xanana Gusmao, the leader of the East Timore
struggle for independence was the first awardee of the Gwangju
Prize when it was launched in 2000, while Burmese
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi won it in 2004. Irom
Sharmila, the Manipuri human rights activist, is the previous
Indian winner of the Gwangju Prize.

PTI