Bersih 2.0 wins South Korean human rights award

Participants shout slogans during a rally organised by pro-democracy group Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic
Participants shout slogans during a rally organised by pro-democracy group Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — Bersih 2.0 has won South Korea’s 2016 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights for its efforts in pushing for electoral reform in Malaysia.

The Bersih 2.0 steering committee, in a statement, said it was proud for being acknowledged for its work through the Gwangju award.

“This acknowledgement is the result of the fight of the people of Malaysia who had gathered peacefully as many as four times in the city centre to seek a clean and fair electoral system in the country.

“The people have also proved their patriotic spirit when they walked the streets to defend the constitution, freedom to gather, voice an opinion and seek information,” it said.

According to the committee, the award was to commemorate the spirit of the democratic fight by the people in Gwangju on May 1980 when they stood up against the military regime in South Korea.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all non governmental organisations overseas who have supported Bersih 2.0 all these years.

“We would also want to congratulate Dr Nguyen Dan Que from Vietnam who is also among the winners for this award,” it said.

The committee said Bersih 2.0 was nominated by Indonesian activist Mugiyanto from the International NGO forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) and Malaysian activist Yap Swee Seng.

Bersih 2.0 will send representatives to receive the award on May 18 at the Memorial Foundation in South Korea.