Turkish LGBT activist Yasemin Oz wins human rights award

Lawyer Oz, who has been active in LGBT rights for 18 years, wins the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Felipa de Souza Award

Yasemin Oz, who has campaigned for LGBT-rights in Turkey since the mid-1990s, is being honored with a human rights award.

The Felipa de Souza Award, given by the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) every year, recognizes courage and activism in LGBT human rights work.

Oz was chosen as this year’s recipient of the award because of her dedication to improving LGBT rights in Turkey.

‘Although her daytime job is a corporate lawyer for a commercial company, Yasemin spends most of her free time writing, talking, organizing, and advocating for LGBT rights,’ said a statement from IGLHRC.

Oz has advised the Turkish legislature on LGBT rights and has campaigned for the release of Pinar Selek, a feminist writer who has been sentenced to life in prison for her alleged involvement in bomb blast in Istanbul in 1998.

Oz will be presented with her award at a ceremony in New York on 13 May hosted by ex-Sex-and-the-City actress and gay rights activist Cynthia Nixon. Tickets are available for the event for $200 (€152) each.

The award gets its name from Felipa de Souza who was persecuted in Brazil in the 16th century after admitting her relationship with a woman. IGLHRC has given the award annually since 1994.

IGLHRC was founded in 1990 to improve the situation for people across the world who are discriminated against or abused because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

by Anna Leach
Source – Gay Star News