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Alternative Nobel ceremony

December 8, 2012

Winners of an award aimed at those who work to improve the lives of others have been picking up their prizes. Among them were a female Afghan doctor and an advocate of peaceful resistance.

Right Livelihood Award Logo
Right Livelihood Award Logo

Recipients of the Right Livelihood Award, otherwise known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," accepted their honors on Friday in the Swedish parliament. The ceremony included speeches, music and a buffet supper.

Afghan doctor Sima Samar was one winner, for her "longstanding and courageous dedication to human rights."

A prize also went to American Gene Sharp, who founded the Albert Einstein Institution, to promote the study and strategic use of nonviolent action in conflicts. He was praised for "developing and articulating the core principles and strategies of nonviolent resistance."

A third award went to the UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade, which has worked since 1974 to stop British weapons exports.

This year's nonfinancial honorary award went to the "grandfather of the Turkish environmental movement," Hayrettin Karaca, for his activism. The former businessman - who was unable to attend the ceremony due to heavy snowfall - was commended for his "tireless advocacy and support for the protection and stewardship of our natural world."

The three other prize winners share a total of 150,000 euros ($190,000) to be used for their causes.

The Swedish-German philatelist and philanthropist Jakob von Uexküll founded the prize in 1980 because the Nobel Foundation had no specific honors for the environment and international development.

rc/jm (dpa/dapd)