Why is Kim Jong-un receiving a peace prize?
A peace prize that was previously awarded to Mahatma Gandhi and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi will be given to the North Korean leader.
The United Nations accuses North Korea of vast human-rights abuses, but Indonesia doesn’t necessarily agree. The Southeast Asian nation is even planning to award Kim Jong-un a peace prize.
As the founder of the center Rachmawati Sukarnoputri said Mr. Kim will receive the award for his “peace, justice, and humanity.”
The Bali-based Sukarno Center announced Thursday that it has decided to award its annual prize for global statesmanship to Kim Jong-un, describing him as a “champion in the fight against neocolonialism and imperialism,” the Jakarta Globe reported.
Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar and India’s Mahatma Gandhi are two of the previous recipients of the award. Kim will receive the award in September.
North Korea has long been subject to global criticism over its human-rights record.
The Human Rights Watch calls the country one of the "most harshly repressive countries in the world,” while Amnesty International has continuously raised concern about North Korea’s prison camps, and food shortages that have been affected “millions of people” in North Korea over the years.
Last year, after gathering evidence for almost a year, the United Nations’ commission on human-rights in North Korea concluded that the country’s leadership is committing crimes against humanity with strong resemblances to those committed by Nazi Germany, the Guardian reported.
On Monday, Mrs. Sukarnoputri said criticisms of Kim Jong-un’s human-rights record are “western propaganda.”
"The allegations about human-rights abuses are untrue," she told AFP. “Those Western governments like to put ugly labels on North Korea."
Kim is not the first North Korean leader to receive the award. As AFP reports, in 2001 the award was posthumously given to his grandfather, the state's founding father Kim Il-sung.
As prestigious as they often are, human-rights awards can sometimes be controversial. Even the Nobel Peace Prize, the most well-known peace prize in the world, is not an exception.
In 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human-rights in Europe." But three former peace prize laureates slammed the decision, saying that the EU is "clearly not one of the 'champions of peace' Alfred Nobel had in mind" when he created the prize in 1895.