Dr Sima Samar’s selection as the winner of the 2008 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award (ADRHA) was announced Monday by Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Chairman Wang Jin-pyng. The award honors Dr. Samar’s significant contributions to advancing women’s rights and social welfare in Afghanistan.
Dr. Samar chairs the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and is the founder of the Shuhada Organization, which seeks to provide medical services and educational opportunities to Afghan women and children. The organization operates 12 clinics, 4 hospitals, and 74 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the Central News Agency, Jin-pyng said in a press conference: “Dr. Samar braves life’s dangers in exchange for human rights in Afghanistan, and without staunch belief and extraordinary willpower it would have been impossible for Samar to hold fast to her work up to today.” As part of the ADRHA award, Dr. Samar will receive a $100,000 grant at the December 10 award ceremony.