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Winners of the National Human Rights Award announced Photo

2021 2021-12-10T19:32:38+0300 2021-12-10T19:35:33+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Award ceremony

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, human rights defenders awarded the winners of the 13th National Human Rights Award. It was founded by the Human Rights Alliance in 2008, and since 2011, the Award has represented the interests and opinions of the entire Belarusian human rights community.

As in previous years, National Human Rights Award was given in three categories: “Human rights defender of the year”, “Journalist of the year” and “Campaign/initiative of the year”.

This year, the award ceremony was hosted by the representative of the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House Yauheniya Parashchanka. At the opening ceremony, she congratulated everyone on the International Day of Human Rights and stressed how important, difficult and dangerous it is to carry out human rights activities in Belarus today.

This year, the nominees in the nomination “Human Rights Defender of the Year” were Volha Harbunova, a women's rights activist and ex-Head of the public organization “Radislava” helping victims of domestic violence, as well as human rights defenders Nasta Lojka and Marfa Rabkova. Two of the three nominees, Volha Harbunova and Marfa Rabkova, are political prisoners.

Winners' diplomas

Marfa Rabkova, the coordinator of “Viasna” volunteer service, was named the winner in the “Human rights defender of the year” nomination. Marfa has been imprisoned for over a year. Not so long ago, she faced final charges, according to which she will be tried under 11 articles of the Criminal Code. The human rights defender faces up to 20 years in prison.

 “Journalist of the year” nomination had three nominees: chief editor of TUT.BY Maryna Zolatava, journalist Dzianis Ivashyn and TUT.BY journalist Alena Talkachova. All three of them have been recognized by human rights activists as political prisoners.

Dzianis Ivashyn became the winner of the “Journalist of the year” nomination. He has been volunteering as editor for the Belarusian version of the InformNapalm website since 2014, and worked as a freelance correspondent for the Novy Chas newspaper. He is well known for his investigations on the Russian influence in Belarus and Syria, on the scandalous site development in Kurapaty (an open-air memorial dedicated to those murdered in Stalin times), as well as on the employment of former Ukrainian Berkut members in the law enforcement agencies of Belarus. KGB officers detained the journalist on March, 12 for interfering with the work of police. Dzianis Ivashyn is charged under Article 365 and Part 1 of Art. 356 of the Criminal Code ("Treason to the State"), and faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Award ceremony

The diplomas in the first two nominations were received by Aleh Aheeu, the lawyer of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, since the winners themselves are kept behind bars. The lawyer promised to solemnly present diplomas to the winners as soon as they are released.

Monitoring of trials by “Viasna” Volunteers, initiative "Write Letters" launched by the volunteer Illia Mironau and the International Media Project “August 2020” were nominees in the nomination “Campaign/initiative of the year”.

The Award ceremony

International Media Project “August 2020” was named the winner in the nomination. It is known for informing international community about torture and ill-treatment of Belarusians after the elections in August 2020.

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