April 23, 2014

Timerman joyful about democracy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Philippine wins human rights prize

By Santiago Del Carril
Herald Staff

Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) Secretary General Mary Eileen D. Bacalso was yesterday given the Foreign Ministry’s “Emilio Mignone” International Human Rights Award, which is given to foreign human rights activists to honour their long trajectory and accomplishments in human rights.
The prize carries the name of the late Dr. Emilio Mignone, a leading human rights leader who implemented a campaign to denounce human rights violations committed during the last military dictatorship and also under democracy.
Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman presided over the panel, where the prize winner sat alongside CELS Director Gastón Chillier, Human Rights Secretary Martín Fresneda and Mignone’s daughter Isabel Mignone.
Bacalso was awarded the prize by Timerman “in recognition of her work against enforced disappearances in Asia and the world” in front of an audience composed of human rights activists, diplomats and politicians on the 30th anniversary of the return of democracy in Argentina.
She is the seventh person to receive this award since its institution in 2007. Bacalso first became involved in human rights in in 1979 when she was 16-years-old. She faced several hardships during the dictatorship of Fernando Marcos and afterwards in the presidency of Corazon Aquino when her husband was kidnapped and tortured. She persevered and was key to the implementation of the UN’s Convention of the protection of involuntary disappearances resolution and as leader of the AFAD.
The Philippine human rights prize winner gave an extensive speech, highlighting “the common experience between the Filipinos and Argentines” and that the prize “was an important recognition in support of the struggle for human rights.”
The anniversary of three decades of democracy “makes me very proud of the whole of Argentina,” Timerman told the Herald yesterday.
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