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Aachen peace prize awarded to Mexican and Dutch groups

Two humanitarian groups share this year's Aaachen peace prize. The prize is supported by 50 religious, political, union and civil organisations and 350 individuals.

Since 1988, the peace prize has been awarded in Aachen, a western German city close to the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands. It is given to those working for peace and understanding.

"This year the award honors two organizations fighting for basic rights for the weakest people,” Tina Terschmitten said on behalf of the Aachen peace prize.

International prize

The international prize went to the Comité Cerezo of Mexico, named after the lawyer Alejandro Cerezo Contreras who was imprisoned and tortured in 2001. The committee was set up in the same year to document police and army abuse throughout the country. Cerezo was set free in 2009.

German prize

The German prize went to Borderline-Europe. This Berlin based group observes human rights at EU entry points, produces literature to inform the public and politicians, supports humanitarian aid and facilitates media contacts. The group has recently focussed attention on the needs of refugees fleeing the Middle East and North Africa.

mkg/jm (epd, dpa)