Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Andrew Makoni said his organization is humbled by the award as it comes from a developing country, debunking the notion that human rights are a Western preoccupation
The organization Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has received the 2010 Emilio Mignone International Human Rights Prize, established in 2007 by the Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry to honor organizations or individuals outside Argentina which are making an outstanding contribution towards promoting and protecting human rights.
Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Andrew Makoni said his organisation is humbled by the award, particularly as it is bestowed by a developing country, debunking the notion that human rights are a preoccupation only for the developed West.
Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Hector Timerman will present the award to a representative of the group in Buenos Aires this week. It is the first time the award has gone to an organization outside the Americas.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry said the prize recognizes the Zimbabwean group's fight against official impunity in systematic violations of human rights.
Lawyers for Human Rights Director Irene Petras said her organisation was honored to be designated to receive the Argentine award. She said it appreciated that "countries around the world - including those which have experienced some of the most difficult periods of human rights violations themselves - are concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe and are offering solidarity in our trying times.