The International Hrant Dink Award goes to Baltasar Garzón Real and the Conscientious Objection Movement in Turkey.
The International Hrant Dink Award 2010 was presented to the laureates the Conscientious Objection Movement in Turkey and Baltasar Garzón Real from Spain, on September 15, 2010 with a ceremony at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall.
The awards ceremony, hosted by Lale Mansur, began with the speeches of the Chair of the award committee Ali Bayramoglu and the President of the Hrant Dink Foundation, Rakel Dink. Ali Bayramoglu stated that the International Hrant Dink Award is based on the words ‘enlightenment’ and ‘light’. He also said that as promised last year, this year an independent international jury is established.
In his speech, he also mentioned the European Human Rights Court condemning Turkey in the Hrant Dink case and said that with the decision of the European Human Rights Court, justice has been served for the first time since Hrant Dink was killed.
Rakel Dink emphasized the importance of the Award in keeping the memories and conscience awake. She thanked Hrant for establishing the Agos newspaper and said: “This is the fourth anniversary which we will be celebrating without Çutak, Hrant. Hrant’s friends and comrades have set up this foundation together with us in order to keep alive mankind’s and the country’s memory in a lively shape so that people’s conscience can further their endeavors.” Mentioning Tuba Candar’s newly published book Hrant, Rakel Dink addressed Hrant with the following words: This is a birthday present for you, my dear Çutak, happy birthday.”
Accompanied by the short films prepared by Umit Kivanc, the leurates received their award statuettes and certificates. Jury members Amira Hass, Alper Gormus and Adalet Agaoglu presented the award to Mehmet Tarhan who represented the Conscientious Objection Movement in Turkey, and Irene Khan, Hasan Cemal and Rakel Dink to Baltasar Garzón Real.
Mehmet Tarhan, in his speech, quoted Hrant: “Leaving the burning hell to run to ready-made heavens was not for me. We were of those who aspired to turn the hell they live in, into heaven,” and said that they could only walk on with the feeling of responsibility they felt to the ones who were able to say this.
He continued his words by explaining that every conscientious objection is a personal commitment in fighting against militarism and using the language of peace, and with the Award they promise once again, this time to Hrant. “With this award, we are now indebted to you, Hrant.”
Garzón started his speech with saluting Hrant Dink: “I would like to salute the memory of the person who presented such an example of courage and conviction against intolerance, for peace and for human rights.”
Stating that the press is one of the most indispensible instruments for the construction of democracy in a country, he declared the attack on a journalist, who fights against intolerance as one of the worst methods of violation of human rights. Garzón underlined the fact that each state has to provide the instruments for the protection of its citizens in particular, when it is a case of building a freer, a more equal and a more equitable society.
He continued his speech with giving examples of impunity in the history: “The history of the world is full of instances where impunity was the rule. For instance, the Armenian Genocide has been denied and still being denied or the crimes of Latin American dictatorships those in Cambochia, Timour or elsewhere are only now being looked into.
In Spain, the crimes against humanity of the Franco dictatorship are not even recognized as crimes, despite the fact that there are more than one hundred thirty thousand cases of disappearance. The cases of abduction, disappearance, torture or all the other crimes committed in the name of struggle against terrorism conflict with all idea of legality, and shows the failure of the idea of security is preferred over legality.”
Garzón said that we have to see that this panorama is inacceptable, and the way is shown to us by Hrant Dink and the Agos newspaper. He ended his speech with these words: “At times the effort of a limited number of people will succeed to change the course of events of the world. Hrant Dink is a very good example.”
Musicians Sila, Kardes Turkuler and Arto Tuncboyaciyan, and Mihran Tovmasyan from the dance group Ciplak Ayaklar Kumpanyasi performed at the ceremony, followed by the screening of the video ‘Lights’, which salutes and honors the individuals or groups from Turkey and abroad, who, through their work, had been a source of hope and worked to illuminate people’s lives.
The international jury of the International Hrant Dink Award 2010 consisted of Adalet Agaoglu, Judith Butler, Hasan Cemal, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Rakel Dink, Alper Gormus, Amira Hass, Irene Khan and Boris Navasartian.