Ales Bialiatski shortlisted for Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize
The imprisoned leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski has been shortlisted for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, along with two more nominees: the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association and the Rights Defense Network (China).
“The selection panel, comprising six independent figures and chaired by Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), drew up its shortlist on the basis of 27 candidatures which fulfilled the criteria for the Prize,” says the website of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
The jury first made a shortlist of six candidates out of the 27 received, including Lyudmila Alexeyeva (Russian Federation), Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Mental Disability Advocacy Centre – MDAC (Hungary).
The Belarusian human rights defender was nominated by more than 30 Polish NGOs upon the initiative of the Stefan Batory Foundation.
“A reaction is needed when human rights are under threat, and this is what we do. But it is also necessary to encourage and place the spotlight on those who commit themselves to human rights, and this is something we perhaps do a little less. This is what the Prize does,” said Jean-Claude Mignon when he announced the outcome of the voting.
On 29 September, at a second meeting which will be held in Strasbourg, the panel will name the winner of the Prize. This will be officially announced by the PACE President at 12.30 pm on the first day of the autumn session, on 30 September 2013.
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defense of human rights in Europe and beyond.
The Prize is awarded in memory of Václav Havel, playwright, opponent of totalitarianism, architect of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and an enduring symbol of opposition to despotism. Nominations of any individual, non-governmental organization or institution working to defend human rights are taken into consideration. The Prize consists of a sum of €60 000, a trophy and a diploma.