German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the jury member and Model Waris Dirie from Somalia.

Halkaan ka akhri

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the jury member and Model Waris Dirie from Somalia and the German comedian Michael Mittermaier, from left, press the start button for the humanrightslogo.net website in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Germany and several other countries think it’s time to create a universal human rights logo. On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin launched an international campaign to find a symbol that could be used by activists, politicians and others around the world.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (L), the jury member and Model Waris Dirie from Somalia (C) and the German comedian Michael Mittermaier press the start button for the humanrightslogo.net website in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, May 3, 2011. AP photo.

Officials working on a campaign to find a universal logo for human rights have called for design submissions from Turkey.

“We know Turkey has bright and creative minds, thus the competition really welcomes submissions from Turkey,” Markus Loning, German Human Rights Commissioner, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a recent e-mail interview.

Inspired by the recent popular uprisings against dictatorial regimes in North Africa and the Middle East, the campaign seeks to create a simple symbol that can be used and understood universally as an expression that calls for basic human rights.

“Basically, the whole idea came about in response to the uprisings and events in Northern Africa. There was broad media coverage about it and we all still have the picture in mind of the demonstrating people in the streets, holding up their banners. Though, everyone understands what they were demonstrating for, obviously for human rights, there was no recognizable collective sign or symbol on their banners, as it exists e.g. in peace movements or antinuclear movements,” said Loning. “A common symbol for all the people fighting for human rights would give a clear message to everybody around the world. So we took action and initiated the project.”

The campaign was launched last week to at an opening ceremony in Berlin. Myanmar pro-democracy leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Chinese artist and activist and Ai Wei Wei, Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle are among the 28 jury members who will choose the final selection of logos from among the submissions received.

“The jury consists of a wide range of personalities that have a strong human rights background such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureates or a specific link to design,” said Löning.

“I think it is a unique project, and I’m very glad to be a part of it. We are confident the initiative will be a success, however, we are really overwhelmed by the outreach and acceptance of it, especially now after the kick off,” Philipp Koch, a project manager for the campaign told the Daily News. “We are very pleased to see it reached many people around the world. In the first 24 hours we had almost 200 submissions, and after around 72 hours, we had almost 550. I’m really impressed by all the designs. People are really participating and that’s what we intended.”

Submissions must be sent by July 31, and those seeking to submit a design can find details at http://www.humanrightslogo.net, Koch said.

Source: AP

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