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Black Lives Matter wins Swedish human rights prize

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has been awarded Sweden’s Olof Palme human rights prize for 2020.

Prize organizers said in a statement on Friday that the international civil rights movement had been awarded for its work promoting “peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence all over the world.”

The foundation has “in a unique way exposed the hardship, pain, and wrath of the African-American minority at not being valued equal to people of a different color.”

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in the United States in 2013, after a man charged with fatally shooting African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 was acquitted.

Last year, the movement received major international attention following several cases of extreme police brutality in the US, including the death of George Floyd.

Floyd died in the northern US city of Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly 10 minutes as he continually gasped, “Please, I can’t breathe.”

His death unleashed protests against police brutality and for racial justice in the US and many countries across the world.

According to the Swedish prize organizers, an estimated 20 million people have participated in Black Lives Matter protests in the US alone, and millions more around the world.

A prize ceremony will be held online on Saturday.

The Olof Palme Prize, an annual prize worth $100,000 awarded by the Olof Palme Memorial Fund, was established in 1987 by the family of Sweden’s former Social Democratic prime minister Olof Palme and by the Social Democratic Party to honor the slain premier’s memory.

Olof Palme was an outspoken international human rights advocate and vehement opponent of US involvement in the Vietnam War. He was assassinated in Stockholm in 1986.

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