Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned former co-chair of pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), was awarded the 2021 Weimar Human Rights Prize for his work in combatting rights violations, Deutsche Welle reported on July 22.
Imprisoned since 2016, Demirtaş has consistently led a legal battle against human rights violations persisting in Turkey.
The award is handed to persons or entities who are "particularly committed to the protection and enforcement of basic rights" through their works for "humanity," according to the official website.
The Göttingen-based rights organization Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) dubbed Demirtaş "one of the most important opposition politicians of recent times in Turkey."
"Defending a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue, democratization and the religious freedom of Christian, Alevi and Yazidis" alongside "linguistic, political and cultural equality of Kurdish, Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Orthodox peoples" were also listed among Demirtaş's merits.
The official ceremony is planned to be held in December for the award, previously granted to HDP Adana Deputy and attorney Meral Danış Beştaş in 1998.