Several prominent figures were honoured with Outstanding Human Rights awards from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) yesterday.
High-profile activist Srisuwan Janya, famous environmentalist Sasin Chalermlarp, former senator Tuenjai Deetes, Chulalongkorn University lecturer Jessada Denduangboripant and the student-activist Dao Din Group were among the award winners.
However, the award-presentation ceremony was mired with several hiccups, as many different groups of students showed up to protest.
One Dao Din representative who tried to speak out of turn onstage had to be dragged away.
The NHRC handed out the awards yesterday to mark International Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10 every year. The awards were handed out to honour people, groups and organisations who have made valuable contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights over the past two years.
Srisuwan, who heads the Stop Global Warming Association, was honoured for his outstanding performance in promoting, defending and protecting human rights in 2013.
While the ceremony was being held, several groups of student protesters showed up to condemn the NHRC’s work and the ongoing martial law.
But NHRC chairwoman Amara Pongsapich said: “Some people may think the martial law violates human rights, but we need to understand that martial law needs to be in place while the country’s reform road map is being implemented.
“In such circumstances, you need to find a balance.”