Valiantsin Stefanovich receives national human rights award
Valiantsin Stefanovich, deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, has been awarded the National Human Rights Prize during a ceremony traditionally held on the eve of the International Human Rights Day, December 10.
Critical journalist and opposition activist Valery Shchukin has received the award in the category “Person”, while the Journalist of the Year Prize has been awarded to Dzmitry Lukashuk, reporter for European Radio for Belarus.
In his speech after receiving the award, Valiantsin Stefanovich said that he “would like to dedicate this award to the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, because “much of what has been done in the field of human rights protection would not be possible without our team, where I have worked for 17 years already”.
“I would also like to dedicate this award to Marek Nowicki, who is not with us anymore. This is the man who shaped me as a human rights defender, as our universities do not teach human rights, and it's completely different understanding. Marek Nowicki has formed the backbone of the human rights movement not only in Belarus, but defined it the way we have been guided in our daily work,” said Valiantsin Stefanovich.
The National Human Rights Prize for achievements in the field of human rights was established in 2008 at the initiative of the Human Rights Alliance.
In 2011, the organizing committee was joined by a number of other organizations. This year, the jury included representatives of the Committee of the Repressed “Solidarity”, the Human Rights Center "Viasna", the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Human Rights Alliance , the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Human Rights House Foundation, the Center for Human Rights, the Legal Initiative, and the Belarusian Documentation Center.