Courageous and brave woman receives award
December 11, 2001
Weimar (a medieval German city where the poet Goethe spent a part of his life)
A courageous, brave woman – Shanaz Bokhari from Pakistan.
This 45-year-old woman uses her parents’ home in Rawalpindi to take care of women whose family members and husbands have abused them. She is against the so-called “murder for honour” system, so common in Pakistan and intervenes for women who have been gruesomely mutilated. She makes it possible for these victims to receive medical help and accompanies and supports them in divorce proceedings.
Those noble deeds alone were reason enough for the City of Weimar to award Ms. Bokhari the Human Rights Award, a ceremony that took place last Monday evening.
Every year on December 10th, the attention of the world is focused on the subject of human rights and looks toward those nations that still step on the right for human dignity.
The IGFM, for example (Internationale Gesellschaft fuer Menschenrechte; International Association for Human Rights) has made China its centre of action.
Peter Recknagel, for instance, knows what he is talking about. His demonstration and those of eight of his friends from Germany lasted a mere 20 seconds at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. That is exactly the amount of time they had to unfurl their banner with the slogan “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance,” before the Chinese police swiftly arrived and arrested these young people. Those words are also the motto for the Falun Gong belief system and its followers, which is being harshly and systematically persecuted in China. Peter Recknagel told this newspaper (TLZ), “320 Falun Gong members have already been tortured to death; thousands disappear in Re-education –Through-Forced-Labour-Camps or are sent to forced stays in psychiatric clinics where they have to undergo brainwashing.”
Utilizing their cell phones, which the detainees were able to smuggle into incarceration with them, they notified the headquarters for human rights. A few hours later this news already circulated among the international wire services and news bureaus. “Perhaps that is what saved our lives,” so said Recknagel. Many thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, however, are helplessly exposed to the Chinese government’s bureaucracy.
Mr. Martin Lessenthin from the Association for Human Rights said in an interview with this newspaper that he will for the future make a case for every political prisoner in China with the Olympic Committee. “The International Olympic Committee, which chose the 2008 games to be held in Beijing must now face the political reality.”
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