Obama says Nobel Peace Prize choice a victory for human dignity

Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:03pm EDT
 
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian campaigner against child trafficking, for winning the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, calling it a victory for those who uphold human dignity.

"Today's announcement is a victory for all who strive to uphold the dignity of every human being," Obama, himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said in a statement.

"In recognizing Malala and Kailash, the Nobel Committee reminds us of the urgency of their work to protect the rights and freedoms of all our young people and to ensure they have the chance to fulfill their God-given potential, regardless of their background, or gender, or station in life."

Yousafzai, aged 17, was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating for girls' right to education. Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, had been awestruck by her courage.

"Malala and Kailash have faced down threats and intimidation, risking their own lives to save others and build a better world for future generations," Obama said.

"Even as we celebrate their achievements, we must recommit ourselves to the world that they seek – one in which our daughters have the right and opportunity to get an education; and in which all children are treated equally."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by David Storey and Richard Chang)