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Rada Evropy udělila Cenu Václava Havla za lidská práva Muratu Arslanovi
Photo: © Rada Evropy/Council of Europe
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Council of Europe Awarded this Year's Václav Havel Human Rights Prize to Murat Arslan


This year's laureate of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize has been presented at the start of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The fifth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize has been awarded to Murat Arslan, a former Rapporteur of the Turkish Constitutional Court and President of the now dissolved Association for the Union of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV). Mr Arslan is well-known for his support to the independence of the judiciary. As he has been held in custody since 2016, he could not attend the ceremony and receive the Prize personally.

The Prize winner comes from a shortlist of three candidates. The other shortlisted candidates included Father Georg Sporschill (Austria), a Jesuit who has devoted his life to the care of the most vulnerable, notably children, and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, known for its human rights activities particularly focusing on the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons.

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize has been awarded since 2013 by the Parliamentary Assembly, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, in recognition of exceptional civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond. The Prize which consists of a trophy and a diploma for significant contribution in the struggle for human rights involves a reward of € 60 000. The Czech Republic grants financial support to the Prize.

A conference in honour of the laureate held in Prague follows the Strasbourg award ceremony. This year’s conference entitled "What Price Human Rights?" will take place on October 11, 2017 in Prague Crossroads.