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Activists Win Dutch Beggars’ Medal

January 12, 1998

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Five renowned human rights activists won a prestigious Dutch award Monday for their crusades on behalf of the oppressed and the poor.

The Beggars’ Medal went jointly to Muchtar Pakpahan, the jailed Indonesian trade union leader; Sergei Kovalyov, a leading Russian human rights activist; activist Vera Chirwa of Malawi; Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson of Australia; and Guatemalan lawmaker Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez.

The Beggars’ Resistance Foundation presents the annual medal to those who help promote democracy and fight against dictatorship. Five winners were chosen this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Past winners include Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu, Czech President Vaclav Havel and the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank Foundation.

The winners will receive their medals during a ceremony in March.

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