The May 18 Memorial Foundation in Gwangju, Korea proclaimed Mr. Muneer A. Malik as the winner for the 2008 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.
Mr. Muneer A. Malik was the former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association who has played an enormous role in the struggle of the lawyers, judges and the rest of the citizens of Pakistan for the independence of the judiciary. Under his leadership he was able to mobilize lawyers and the people to fight the repression imposed by President Musharraf when he declared an emergency and ousted several chief justices and judges. In the 1980’s Mr. Malik had been in the forefront of the struggle against the military rule of then President Zia Ul Haq. Mr. Malik was recipient of the 2006 Dorab Patel Award given by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
On May 18, 2008 the award will be conferred to Mr. Muneer A. Malik on a ceremony to commemorate the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising (Wikipedia: Gwangju Massacre). The prize award includes a gold medal, a certificate of achievement and US $ 50,000.00.
The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is an award given to individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace in their work. The award is given by the Gwangju people in the spirit of solidarity and gratitude from those whom they have received help in their struggle for democratization and search for truth.
The Gwangju Prize is administered by The May 18 Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization established on August 30, 1994. It was organized by surviving victims of the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising (Wikipedia: Gwangju Massacre), the victims’ families, and the citizens of Gwangju. The Foundation aims to commemorate and continue the spirit of struggle and solidarity of the May 18 Uprising, contribute to the peaceful reunification of Korea, and work towards peace and human rights throughout the world. Since its establishment, the Foundation has carried out numerous projects in varying fields, including organizing memorial events, establishing scholarships, fostering research, disseminating public information, publishing relevant materials, dispensing charity and welfare benefits, building international solidarity, and awarding the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.