Parveena Ahanger, Parvez Imroz awarded Rafto Prize for human rights work

Kashmiri activists Parveena Ahanger and Parvez Imroz  have been awarded with Norway’s Rafto Prize for “decades of campaigning for human rights” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Ahangar and Imroz “have long been at the forefront of the struggle against arbitrary abuses of power in a region of India that has borne the brunt of escalating violence, militarisation and international tension,” the Rafto Foundation said in a statement.

“Parveena Ahangar protests against enforced disappearances and challenges the perpetrators of violence. She is the founder and leader of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) which arranges peaceful protests and offers practical assistance to victims. Imroz Parvez is a lawyer and a leading intellectual who uses the law to ensure fundamental human rights and equality before the law in Kashmir; he is the founder of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which works for human rights and alternatives to violence,” the statement said.

“Their long campaign to expose human rights violations, promote dialogue and seek peaceful solutions to the intractable conflict in Kashmir has inspired new generations across communities,” it added.

The prize of $20,000 (17,750 euros) will formally be presented on November 5 in the western Norwegian town of Bergen.

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