The Per Anger Prize awarded to Islena Rey Rodríguez
This year’s Per Anger prize is awarded to the Colombian human rights defender Islena Rey Rodríguez for her struggle against violence and infringements of human rights in Colombia.
– Everything we do, we do in the love of Colombia and the Human Rights defenders who gave their lives in the struggle to rebuild a country and a life, says Islena Rey Rodríguez.
On behalf of the Swedish government, the Living History Forum awards the Per Anger prize to a person who, without personal gain, has demonstrated considerable courage and initiative to promote democracy and humanitarian efforts.
– This means that people have confidience in what we due, and it gives us visability and security, says Islena Rey Rodríguez.
Repeated assassination attempts
The 2015 Per Anger prize is awarded to the Colombian human rights activist Islena Rey Rodríguez for her sustained struggle against violence and infringements of human rights in one of Colombia's most dangerous regions. Despite repeated assassination attempts and the State's inability to provide her with effective protection, she continues to support political prisoners and document the abuse which takes place in the crossfire between the drug trade, paramilitary forces and strong economic interests.
The recipient of this year's prize has been committed to human rights in Colombia for many years. In 1989 she was involved in founding "Comite Civico por los Derechos Humanos del Meta" (CCDHM), a forum for human rights organisations, democratic leaders and trades unions. CCDHM, that has been a partner of Diakonia for several years, offers legal advice and support for those reporting violent crime and abuses of human rights.
Awarded by Swedish Minister
"For me, for our organisation and for the Meta region, the Per Anger prize provides enormously important recognition and encouragement to us in our work. The prize has a direct effect on the legitimacy of our work in constantly seeking the truth, respect and recognition for those defending human rights in our country", said a happy and deeply moved Islena Rey Rodríguez in response to the news.
Islena Rey Rodríguez will be awarded this year's Per Anger prize on 14 October at a ceremony at Södra Latin in Stockholm. The prize will be awarded by the Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke. The prizewinner will be available for interviews in Stockholm on 13 October.
Nominated by nine organizations
Nine internationally recognised NGO:s with wide contact networks have participated in the nominations: Amnesty, Afrikagrupperna, Diakonia, Civil Rights Defenders, Svenska FN-förbundet, the Swedish section of the International Commission of Jurists, Reporters Without Borders, Svenska Kyrkan and Svenska Pen.