Park to get rights award for N.K. pro-democracy campaign

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 7, 2013 - 19:55
  • Updated : May 7, 2013 - 19:55
Park Sang-hak
A South Korean activist who has been engaged in sending pro-democracy leaflets into North Korea will receive an international human rights award.

The Fighters for Free North Korea said Monday that its representative Park Sang-hak will be awarded the 2013 Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent in Oslo, Norway on May 15.

The group said it received an official notification from the U.S.-based Human Rights Foundation on Sunday and said Park will be leaving for Norway on Saturday to take part in the award ceremony.

Park, a North Korean defector, has worked tirelessly for the democratization of the isolationist country after his escape in 1999. The activist and the FFNK use helium balloons to send human rights and pro-democracy literature, DVDs, USB drives and transistor radios from South Korea to North Korea.

Besides Park, Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat and Ladies in White, a Cuban civil society group, will receive this year’s honor.

The HRF was established in 2005 and is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving human rights all over the world. It holds the annual Oslo Freedom Forum with Havel having been the chairman for the organization from 2009 until his death in December 2011.

The Havel prize, meanwhile, was created by the widow of the former Czech president and playwright Dagmar Havlova. (Yonhap News)