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Indonesian NGO wins Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award

2018/11/28 23:10:41

TFD Chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) The Gusdurian Network Indonesia (GNI) has won the 2018 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in recognition of its dedication to peace, pluralism, and fundamental human rights and values, it was announced in Taipei Wednesday.

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), which established the annual award in 2006, said the GNI has made meaningful interventions against discrimination and that its efforts served as an example to Taiwan and other countries.

The GNI has been defending victims of conflicts that arise from religious differences and suppression of minority groups, by implementing programs for peaceful inter-religious dialogue, legal advocacy, and legal defense, the TFD said in its citation.

"We have been trying for years to break the fetters of discrimination against people on the grounds of religion, ethnicity, gender, and class," TFD Chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said at a press conference where the 2018 award was announced.

"As Taiwan Society gradually becomes more diverse, open and tolerant, we hope this award would encourage other countries and societies to achieve true equality and harmony," said Su, who is also speaker of the Legislature.

The GNI was established in 2010 following the death of former Indonesian President KH Abdurrahman Wahid in 2009. The group was named after Wahid, who was known colloquially in Indonesia as Gus Dur, according to the TFD.

As one of the leading organizations against radicalism and intolerance in Indonesia, the GNI also works to avert potential conflicts in a diverse religious and ethnic society, the TFD said.

President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Dimitris Christopoulos, a member of the review panel for this year's award, was impressed by the GNI's efforts to bring about inter-faith dialogue, according to the TFD.

That endeavor is a valuable asset "coming from moderate Islamic activists in a world where Islamophobia penetrates mainstream political agendas," Christopoulos was quoted as saying in a statement by the TFD.

A GNI delegation, led by its National Coordinator Alissa Wahid, will travel to Taipei to accept the award on Dec. 10.

The GNI will receive a trophy and a grant of US$100,000 to support its efforts and contribution to the consolidation of democracy, the TFD said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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