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Four Activists win 'alternative Nobel' prize

26 September 2013, 13:28

Stockholm - Four men from Congo, Palestine, Switzerland and the United States were on Thursday awarded the 2013 Right Livelihood Award over working for human rights, improving food security and combating chemical weapons.

Paul Walker of the US was cited "for working tirelessly to rid the world of chemical weapons," a looming threat highlighted by recent events in Syria.

The 67-year-old works for the non-profit organisation Green Cross that has helped verify the elimination of over 55 000 tons of chemical weapons in the United States, Russia, India, South Korea, Albania, and Libya, the jury said.

Denis Mukwege, aged 58, a doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo was lauded for "his courageous work healing women survivors of war-time sexual violence and speaking up about its root causes".

Mukwege runs a hospital in Bukavu, eastern Congo that has treated an estimated 40 000 victims of mass rape committed by warring groups.

Palestinian human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, aged 59, based on the Gaza Strip, was mentioned "for his unwavering dedication to the rule of law and human rights under exceptionally difficult circumstances".

Swiss agronomist Hans R Herren of the Biovision Foundation was credited for "promoting a safe, secure and sustainable global food supply". The jury cited his use of biological methods to tackle a pest that threatened the cassava root, a key crop in Africa.

The award, often called the "Alternative Nobel," was announced by the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation.

Each winner was to receive $78 000. An award ceremony is due on 2 December.


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