Human Rights Awards can get it really wrong

July 16, 2011

As chair of a human rights award I report this event mostly because I want to remember to be careful. No glee!

The Werkstatt Deutschland organisation had planned to give Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the private Quadriga Award that recognises “role models for enlightenment, dedication and the public good.” Under immense pressure the Quadriga Panel has now revoked its decision. The Quadriga panel voiced “great regret” that it is was forced to retract the prize, but said “the growing pressure was becoming increasingly unsustainable and risked escalating further”. According to  AFP, former Czech president Vaclav Havel, who received the same award in 2009, welcomed the German panel’s decision: “The award should be given to people like Anna Politkovskaya or Sergei Kovalov or Liu Xiaobo — people who devoted their lives to protection of human rights and freedoms and promoting democracy”.  The prize has been awarded every year since 2003 on October 3, the anniversary of German unification.

2 Responses to “Human Rights Awards can get it really wrong”


  1. Yes, I well remember that the Nobel Prize for Peace was given to Gorbachev when he was knee-deep in Afghanistan’s blood.

  2. Hans Thoolen Says:

    The Afghanistan war began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. His Nobel Peace prize was 1990. The Peace prize honors peace makers even if they have blood on their hands and everywhere else. The Nobel Peace Prize is not a human right award…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: