By: Larry Lootsteen
Legendary singer and activist Harry Belafonte and Pakastani teen Malala Yousafzai (who was shot by the Taliban for attending school) are this year’s recipients of the award. U2’s Bono and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters will be making the presentations this year in Dublin. This is Amnesty’s most important award. From Wikipedia: “It is given annually to individuals who show exceptional leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights and human conscience. The Award aims to promote the work of Amnesty International by association with the life, work and example of its ‘Ambassadors’.”
“Since its birth, I have been devoted to the principles for which Amnesty International stands,” Belafonte, 86, said in a statement. “It is an honor to receive the recognition being bestowed. Amnesty International’s stand on any universal abuse to human rights has been courageous and is our moral compass.
“I am especially honored to receive the Ambassador of Conscience Award because I am having the distinction of sharing this with Malala Yousafzai, a true hero of our time,” he continued. “My admiration for her is unending. She has awakened many in the global family to a commitment in struggle against tyranny. For all this I remain eternally grateful.”
In her own statement, Yousafzai said, “I am truly honored to receive this award and would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that there are many millions of children like me across the world who fight every single day for their right to go to school. I hope that by working together we will one day realize our dream of education for every child, in every corner of the world.”