Sou Sotheavy, founder of the Cambodian Network for Men Women Development, an organisation dedicated to advocating for the rights of the LGBT community, has been awarded the David Kato Vision & Voice Award.
Presented annually at the Berlin film festival, the award goes to an individual who has demonstrated unparalleled leadership and courage in advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Sotheavy experienced horrific persecution at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, including torture, rape and a forced marriage to a woman, despite identifying as a woman herself. Now in her 70s, she plans to invest the $10,000 prize into the organisation she founded.
“I will fight until the end of my life. I will not stop until the rights for LGBT exist like for other people,” Sotheavy said at Friday’s award presentation.
The award was inspired by the efforts of David Kato, a Ugandan human rights activist, murdered in Kampala in 2011.