Václav Havel Human Rights Price in Strasbourg
04.10.2013 / 11:15
In Strasbourg on 30 September 2013 was awarded the first-ever Havel price to Belarusian candidate, activist for human rights, Ales Bialiatski. The award was accepted by his wife.
Award named after theformer Czechoslovak and Czech president, awards the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) together with the Library of Václav Havel and Foundation Charter 77 to individuals ornon-governmental organizations fighting forhuman rights. The agreement on establishing the International Václav Havel Award for Human Rights has been signed among representatives of these organisations.
Among the three shortlisted nominees was also the Association of Young Georgian Lawyers and the Chinese human rights organization Rights Defence Network from a total of 27candidates. The panel has agreed on the name of this year's winner unanimously.
The winner, that will also receive a cash price of € 60 000, is selected by these representatives – president of the selection panel is president of PACE Jean-Claude Mignon, and other members such as ex-Commisioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg, polish dissident Marek A. Nowitzki, president of Chairman of the Board of the Charta 77 Foundation prof. František Janouch and member of the Václav Havel Library Board Martin Palouš.
Bialiatski was sentenced to 4 1/2 years of unconditional imprisonment for "concealment of income on a large scale" in in the political show trial in 2011. That happened after his critical voices against Belarusian regime in 2011. He is founder of the Belarusian Viasna Human Rights Centre and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights. Bialiatski became the first representative of the post-Soviet countries to be elected to the FIDH. He has received the Swedish award for humanitarian work the Per Anger Price, Lech Walesa Price and also American Human Rights Defenders Award. Bialiatski and Viasna organisation won the Homo Homini Award of the Czech NGO People in Need.
The Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation will organize an international one-day conference named "Civic Society: Freedom is not to be taken for granted " in honour of the laureate of this year. The conference will take place at the international spiritual center at Prague Crossroads / Pražská Křížovatka on Wednesday 2 October 2013.