The International Committee for the Al-Gaddafi Award for Human Rights has awarded its prize for 2008 to former prime minister Dom Mintoff, the Tripoli Post reported yesterday.

"In their appreciation of those honourable leaders of the North who have stood by justice and rights and who defended the causes of oppressed peoples, especially in Palestine and Iraq, the International Committee of Al-Qathafi Award for Peace of 2008 is awarded to the European leader and former Prime Minister of Malta," the committee said.

The prize is awarded to "international personalities, bodies or organisations that have distinctively contributed to rendering an outstanding human service and have achieved great actions in defending human rights, protecting the causes of freedom and supporting peace everywhere in the world".

Former recipients of the award, which carries a prize of $250,000, include Hugo Chavez, Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro.

The Al-Gaddafi Award for Human Rights is an annual prize founded in 1988 by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi together with Swiss globalisation critic Jean Ziegler. Mr Gaddafi initially granted U$10 million to the Swiss-based foundation North-South which awards the prize.

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