The fifteenth International Hrant Dink Award laureates were announced during the ceremony which took place on Friday, September 15. The award is granted to Açık Radyo from Turkey for its dedicated efforts to promote independent music and support local artists; its programmes which dwell particularly on the future of the planet, global climate crisis, war and peace, struggle for rights, activism, and earthquake and for fostering dialogue between different segments of the society through workshops, cultural events, festivals, exhibitions, and public forums. The award is also granted to José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CAJAR) from Colombia which was established by legal professionals in an effort to defend victims from different segments of the society in human rights violation cases. The Collective played an active role in the peace negotiations in the signing of the historic peace agreement in 2016 between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian Government over the armed conflict that started in the 1960s due to poverty, political exclusion, and drugs trafficking. The Collective has recently been working with villagers and indigenous communities of African descent.

The award ceremony was narrated by Yiğit Özşener. Tilbe Saran and Eric Nazarian took part in the ceremony with their voice overs. The ceremony was held at Arter. The President of the Foundation Rakel Dink greeted the audience with the words “As the Hrant Dink Foundation, we stand for solidarity, benevolence, equality and justice, for nature’s and human beings’ right to life. While standing up against policies of polarisation and marginalisation, we continue our struggle for a better, peaceful, and just world and country, where we live in peace with our neighbours, on the basis of respect and love”.

“Inspirations”, which honors people and organizations in Turkey and around the world who inspire humanity with their actions, who take risks and forge new paths, was screened at the ceremony. This year’s Inspirations include individuals and initiatives from France to Georgia, from India to Israel, from Cyprus to Brazil, who inspire people and humanity with their actions on numerous issues such as human rights, justice, struggle with sexism, struggle with economic injustices and poverty, combating climate crises.

In addition to, the song "Değer İçin", written and composed by Ediz Hafızoğlu, was accompanied by Bîdar, Cenk Erdoğan and Orhan Deniz, and the song was hosted by 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory. MİASİN, founded by musicians from Turkey, Armenia and France, also participated in the night with their song "Apaga" and their video was shot for this night in Diyarbakır. Mabel Matiz, who took the stage with the live performance at Arter with a special musical performance for the night, sang his song "Derin Olur" and his cover of "Yeniliğe Doğru" met with the audience for the first time.

In his speech on behalf of the laureate Açık Radyo, Ömer Madra summed up the 29 year old journey of Açık Radyo by stating “Climate carnage, devastating wars and conflicts, ever growing refugee crisis, our biggest “weapon of self-defence” democracy taking major blows in many places, all accompanied by a wave of hypocrisy, fraudulency, immorality, malignancy and lies, have turned our world into a nightmare. Against such a backdrop, Açık Radyo makes efforts to stay its course without any deviation.”

Please click here to read the full text of Ömer Madra’s acceptance speech on behalf of Açık Radyo.

In her acceptance speech on behalf of the laureate José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective from Colombia, Jomary Ortegón Osorio while giving information about Colombia's past and present, she added that the International Hrant Dink Award encourages people, communities, and everyone who fights for themselves and their lands to continue their struggle and stated the following words “Colombia may be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the defense of human and environmental rights. The cost of defending human rights remains very high. This year alone at least one hundred human rights defenders have been murdered. Hundreds more have been threatened and many are in exile, in prison, or face unjust prosecution due to their defense of life, land, territory, the environment, peace, and the rights of all.  This award is dedicated to all human rights defenders in Colombia, because they are our inspiration, our source of encouragement and hope.”

Please click here to read the full text of Jomary Ortegón Osorio acceptance speech on behalf of CAJAR.



The jury of this year’s award includes 2022 International Hrant Dink Award laureate, women’s rights defender Shaharzad Akbar, 2022 International Hrant Dink Award human rights organisation Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, photographer, author and human rights defender Shahidul Alam, feminist and rights defender Ishtar Lakhani, author and lawyer Burhan Sönmez, jurist and academician Turgut Tarhanlı, human rights defender and academician Nilgün Toker, journalist, producer and scriptwriter Nouneh Sarkissian, actor Serra Yilmaz and President of the Hrant Dink Foundation Rakel Dink.

The International Hrant Dink Award was previously presented to women’s rights defender Shaharzad Akbar, human rights organisation Human Rights Foundation of Turkey in 2022, investigative journalist Maria Ressa, women’s rights activist and lawyer Canan Arın in 2021; human rights activist Osman Kavala and women’s rights activist Mozn Hassan in 2020; Nebahat Akkoç, the founder of KAMER, who has been working to raise awareness about women's human rights for many years, and Agnes Kharshiing, who has been fighting for the rights and environmental rights of the poor, women, children and disadvantaged people in the region where she lives in India in 2019; human rights defender Murat Çelikkan and human rights organization Mwatana in 2018; lawyer Eren Keskin who is bringing human rights violations to the agenda of both Turkey and the international community, and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who draws attention to the inequalities and human rights violations all over the world in 2017; Theresa Kachindamoto, chief of the tribe working on children's human rights and education rights in Malawi, and to the Diyarbakır Bar Association struggling for human rights and the rule of law in 2016; women's rights advocate Samar Badawi from Saudi Arabia, and KAOS GL struggling for LGBT rights and equality in Turkey in 2015; Şebnem Korur Fincancı, forensic expert and human rights advocate, and activist Angie Zelter in 2014; to human rights advocate Nataša Kandić and Turkey’s longest continuing act of civil disobedience who are searching for their lost loved ones Saturday Mothers/People in 2013; writer İsmail Beşikçi and human rights organization International 'Memorial' Community in 2012, journalist, writer Ahmet Altan and journalist, human rights defender Lydia Cacho in 2011; Turkey Conscientious Objection Movement and jurist Baltasar Garzón in 2010; journalist-writer Alper Görmüş, and journalist-writer Amira Hass in 2009.

Please click here to see the 2023 International Hrant Dink Award Booklet