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Outgoing FORUM-ASIA Chair, Henri Tiphagne is Awarded Human Rights Award by Amnesty International Germany

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The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) would like to congratulate our outgoing Chair, Henri Tiphagne on being awarded the 8th Human Rights Award by Amnesty International Germany. It is a more than well-deserved recognition for a human rights defender, who has dedicated his life to promoting and protecting human rights in India and beyond. The award will be presented at an official ceremony on 25 April 2016 at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin.

‘For many decades now, Henri Tiphagne has been tirelessly and bravely standing up for human rights. His organization’s invaluable work includes campaigning against discrimination and the use of torture in India’, said Selmin Ḉalýþkan, Director of Amnesty International Germany. ‘Henri Tiphagne and his organization People’s Watch, are fighting to ensure the rights of others and yet themselves are being harassed and hampered by the authorities. There are many other civil society organizations in India that are in a similar position. This award is therefore intended to send a strong signal of support to the whole of the Indian human rights movement.’

Henri is the founder of the organisation People’s Watch, which for over 20 years, among other things, has worked on monitoring human rights violations, accompanying victims of such violations, as well as human rights education. In doing so, People’s Watch has come under scrutiny of the Indian Government in recent years, including having its accounts being frozen on several occasions. For a more detailed account of some of the work Henri and People’s Watch do, please see the chapter he wrote for the FORUM-ASIA 25th anniversary publication, Our Struggle for Human Rights – 25 Years of FORUM-ASIA here.

Henri stepped down as Chair of FORUM-ASIA in early January 2016, a position which he held from 2012. He is also the Convenor of Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR). He was formerly a member of the National Core Group of NGOs of the National Human Rights Commission of India (2001-2011), as well as the State Representative for the State of Tamil Nadu for Right to Education Act of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (2010–2013).

The Human Rights Award is presented by Amnesty International Germany every two years in recognition of individuals or organisations campaigning for human rights under very difficult conditions. Through the award, Amnesty International aims to honour and support the awardees’ exceptional human rights commitment and raise awareness of their work amongst the German public.

FORUM-ASIA whole-heartedly supports the recognition of Henri’s, and the work he has done over the last decades. We are very grateful for the years he supported us through his leadership as Chairperson, and can confirm, without any hesitation, his dedication, knowledge, commitment and many decades of work for human rights in India, Asia and beyond.