Canan Arın, a renowned human rights activist and lawyer in Turkey, and Maria Ressa, an investigative Filipino journalist, have been granted the 2021 International Hrant Dink Award, according to the Hrant Dink Foundation.
The award is named after Hrant Dink, who was editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian bilingual Agos weekly when he was shot dead in broad daylight outside the newspaper’s offices in central İstanbul on Jan. 19, 2007 by a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout. The journalist’s murder led to national and international outrage.
The awards ceremony took place at an online event on Sept. 15 that was broadcast on the Hrant Dink Foundation’s social media accounts, marking the birthday of the slain journalist, who would have turned 67 this year.
Every year, #HrantDinkAward is presented to individuals, organizations or groups who work for a world free from discrimination, racism and violence and inspire others to continue their struggle.
— HrantDink Foundation (@HrantDinkFnd) September 15, 2021
Arın is famous for her fight against domestic violence and her advocacy for gender equality in Turkey, while Ressa defends freedom of the press and women’s rights under difficult political circumstances in the Philippines.
Dink’s widow, Rakel Dink, president of the Hrant Dink Foundation, and Agnes Callamard, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, delivered speeches at the event.
“At the Hrant Dink Foundation, we stand for solidarity, goodness, equality and justice, including the right to life for the environment, nature and human beings,” Rakel Dink said.
Callamard said in her speech: “We consider this our foremost duty: to speak up together when many may be prevented from doing so, to speak truth to power, no matter the size of power.”
In addition, people and organizations from Turkey and around the world that “shed light on humanity” with their struggles for rights were acknowledged as the “Inspirations” of 2021 at the event. Among the inspirations this year are human, environmental, refugee and women’s rights defenders from Turkey to Russia, Myanmar to the United States, Belarus to Kenya.