Talk Show Host Han Dongfang Wins Gleitsman Prize

2005-05-05
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HONG KONG—Veteran Chinese labor activist, Radio Free Asia (RFA) broadcaster, and director of the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin Han Dongfang today received the U.S.-based Gleitsman Foundation's 2005 International Activist Award.

Han received the prize May 5 at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Central, Hong Kong. He shares the award and U.S. $100,000 prize with founders of the UK-based group Global Witness.

"I feel deeply honored to have received such a prestigious international award," Han said. "China's economic reforms have achieved many things, but social and economic justice for ordinary Chinese working people is not yet one of them—in fact, the lack of worker representation is probably the main source of instability in China today."

Han will donate his U.S. $50,000 share of the award to the China Labour Bulletin Legal Defense Fund, which supports the organization's workers' rights litigation program in China.

Han began producing regular radio broadcasts for Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin service in 1997, focusing on workers' issues in China. RFA now airs his programs three times a week, drawing in millions of listeners and callers and frequently breaking news on China’s numerous, under-reported workers.

Judges for this year's International Activist Award include former UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Chinese-born physicist and human rights activist Fang Lizhi, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Shimon Peres, Mairead Maguire, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

The Los Angeles-based foundation, established by Alan Gleitsman in 1989, seeks to recognize and encourage leadership in social activism worldwide. In announcing the award, Alan Gleitsman described Han as “an unrivalled leader of the workers' movement in China.”

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