It is with great sorrow that we learned of the death of Kalle Könkkölä, a champion of disability rights in Finland. Kalle was the first (and only until now) Finnish Member of the Parliament with a disability.
Kalle was one of the two first Green members of the Finnish Parliament and the executive director of Threshold Association, a cross-disability organization which campaigns for the human rights of persons with disabilities. He was a very important activist that significantly contributed to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in Europe.
Yannis Vardakastanis, president of the European Disability Forum stated:
Kalle Könkkölä was such an important person for our fight for equal rights. He made very important contributions for our movement, especially on the areas of persons with disabilities in situation of conflict, emergencies and development cooperation. His death is really a huge loss. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.
Pirkko Mahlamäki, Executive Committee Member of EDF and President of the Finnish Disability Forum, said
He was a fighter, young and radical at heart, an inspiration!