Pavel Sapelka is nominated for Hrant Dink award
Amnesty International Germany stated the intention to
nominate Pavel Sapelka for the International
Hrant Dink Award, presented to people who work for a world free of
discrimination, racism, and violence, take personal risks for their ideals, use
the language of peace and by doing so, inspire and encourage others.
The expert group on Belarus believes that the nomination of Pavel Sapelka is a good opportunity to call public attention to the difficult situation of lawyers in Belarus. Bear in mind that in March 2011 the presidium of the Minsk City Bar yielded to the pressure of the Ministry of Justice and expelled Mr. Sapelka from the bar, thus depriving him of the opportunity to continue his professional activity. At that time the lawyer was defending figurants of the criminal case concerning the “mass riot” of 19 December 2010 – Andrei Sannikau and Pavel Seviarynets, as well as Dzmitry Dashkevich (arrested on fabricated charges of beating a passer-by on 18 December).
Hrant Dink, a well-known journalist of Armenian journalist, chief editor of the Armenian newspaper “Agos”, issued in Turkey, was killed in 2007 in Istanbul. Hrant Dink Foundation has been presented to courageous civil activists or journalists struggling for freedom of speech and human rights. Traditionally, two prize holders are chosen each year – a citizen of Turkey and a foreigner. The International Hrant Dink Award Committee includes Hrant’s widow Rakel Dink, members of the European Parliament, writers and civil activists. The award ceremony takes place in Istanbul.