Chittagong, Bangladesh: The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Human Rights Defenders Award and the nominees all over the world where one Rohingya human rights activists included on May 18, according to Media note of Office of the Spokesperson, the U.S. Department of State.
Zaw Min Htut, Rohingya Human rights activist living in Japan
“This year’s nominees came from every corner of the world. Common World and the Little Bird Mutual Assistance Hotline in China, as well as the Mutual Support Group and the Center for Legal Action in Human Rights, from Guatemala were nominated organizations, as were an impressive group of individual nominees: Jorge Molano of Colombia, Adilur Rahman Khan from Bangladesh, George Freeman from Sierra Leone, Govinda Prasad Sharma Koirala of Nepal, Swaziland’s Justice Thomas Masuku, Igor Kalyapin from Russia, Zarganar from Burma, and Zaw Min Htut, a Rohingya rights activist living in Japan.”
“The US Department of State has granted its 2011 Human Rights Defenders Award to Ales Byalyatski, the imprisoned chairman of a Belarusian human rights group called Vyasna (Spring) shared the award with Uganda's Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law.”
Two Burmese citizens - Zarganar and Zaw Min Htut - were selected in the nominees list. Zarganar was selected as rights activist from Burma and Zaw Min Htut alias Lukman Hakim as Rohingya rights activist from Japan.
“I had left my home country (Burma) in 1998 and joined Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan (BRAJ)-working for Democracy and Human Rights- in 1999 and became Secretary General in 2000. In 2001, I was elected as the president of BRAJ. I have been fighting Rohingyas legal status in Japan together with Japanese lawyers and Human Rights NGOs, Academician since 1999,” Zaw Min Htut told Kaladan Press Network (KPN).
“200 Rohingyas are living in Japan; among them more than 150 are with the legally residing. For the rest, we are still fighting from the legal point.”
“I wrote a Rohingya History book-let -"The Unoin of Burma and Ethnic Rohingya" in 2001 to expose the world about the Rohingyas true history and “Human Rights Violation and Discrimination on Rohingyas” wrote based on own experienced and eyewitness to expose the world community how Rohingya people are suffering under the tyrannical government.”
Zaw Min Htut alias Lukman Hakim was born from Rohingya family in 1972, Dodang Village, Maungdaw Township and graduated from Rangoon University in 1995. The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) detained several weeks for participating in University student uprising against SPDC as a leading Human Rights activist in 1996 while studying master course in University, said Maung Maung, a closed frind of Zaw Min Htut.