Writer and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu is going to receive the Assyrian Cultural Award.
Zarakolu has been detained since 1 November 2011 in the scope of the trial regarding the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK).
The Assyrian Culture Centre is based in Stockholm/Sweden. Last year's award went to Abdullah Demirbaş, mayor of the Sur Municipality (Diyarbakır) for his efforts related to the development of the Syriac language and culture.
George Baryawno, President of the Assyrian Culture Centre, emphasized that Zarakolu was known as an advocator for human and minority rights in Turkey and Europe. Baryawno pointed out that Zarakolu did not make any concession on his way and his struggle despite all pressure and threats.
The publisher paid the price for his stance with being jailed, Baryawno continued and reasoned their choice to reward him as follows:
"He always took his place right next to minorities and the oppressed. The least we could do was giving him this award".
Zarakolu is going to receive the prize money of 5,000 Swedish Kronor (approx. TL 1,500) and a plaque written in Syriac, English and Turkish. Both the money and the plaque will be given to Zarakolu by a Swedish parliamentarian who is going to visit him in prison next month.
Zarakolu has received several awards for his efforts regarding human and minority rights. He is a candidate for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. (IC)
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