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CfB Bureau

Indian lawyer and human rights defender Henri Tiphagne will be awarded the 8th Human Rights Award by Amnesty International Germany, in recognition of his exceptional commitment to human rights

Henri Tiphagne will receive the award at a ceremony to be held at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin, on 25 April 2016. Photo: aif.org

Henri Tiphagne is the founder of People’s Watch, one of the most notable human rights organizations in India, researching and documenting human rights violations, as well as providing legal representation to those affected, for over 20 years. The organization also actively supports human rights education. In 1997, Tiphagne founded an institute offering training for teachers as well as mentoring human rights education programmes, reaching out to around 500,000 children in 18 Indian states.

“For many decades now, Henri Tiphagne has been tirelessly and bravely standing up for human rights. His organization’s invaluable work includes campaigning against discrimination and the use of torture in India,” said Selmin Çalýþkan, Director of Amnesty International Germany.

“Henri Tiphagne and his organization, People’s Watch, are fighting to ensure the rights of others and yet they themselves are being harassed and hampered by the authorities. There are many other civil society organizations in India that are in a similar position. This award is therefore intended to send a strong signal of support to the whole of the Indian human rights movement,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

In recent years, People’s Watch’s bank accounts have been frozen repeatedly since 2012, resulted in pruning of its team and abandoning of many programmes. Whenever activists and organizations are forced to limit the scope of their work due to this kind of harassment, human rights such as the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association are under threat.

The Human Rights Award is presented by Amnesty Germany every two years in recognition of individuals or organizations campaigning for human rights under very difficult conditions.

Through the award, Amnesty International aims to honour and support the awardees’ exceptional human rights commitment and raise awareness of their work amongst the German public. The award comes with 10,000 Euros, provided by Amnesty Germany’s foundation Stiftung Menschenrechte, Förderstiftung Amnesty.

The Human Rights Award will be presented for the eighth time in 2016. Former award recipients include: Monira Rahman from Bangladesh (2006), Women of Zimbabwe Arise from Zimbabwe (2008), Abel Barrera from Mexico (2011) and Alice Nkom from Cameroon (2014).

Source: amnesty.org.in