Posts Tagged ‘Havel’

Three shortlisted for the 2022 Václav Havel Prize of the Council of Europe

September 27, 2022

On 6 September 2022 the selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize [for more on this award and its laureates, see:] announced the shortlist for the 2022 Award.

Meeting in Prague the panel – made up of independent figures from the world of human rights and chaired by Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) – decided to shortlist the following three nominees, in alphabetical order:

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Russian Federation

The nominee is a Russian politician, author and historian. He is one of the opposition leaders in the Russian Federation, and co-founder of the Russian Anti-War Committee established to oppose Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Mr Kara-Murza was arrested in April 2022 and faces up to 10 years imprisonment. [he received earlier awards:, see also]

Rainbow Coalition/Invalid Campaign for LGBTQIA+ rights, Hungary

The nominee is a coalition of human rights organisations, LGBTQIA+ rights groups and other civic movements. The Rainbow Coalition has been campaigning and mobilising support for the defence of LGBTQIA+ rights in Hungary.

Ukraine 5 AM Coalition

The nominee is a coalition of Ukrainian human rights organisations whose aim is to uncover, document, collect and preserve evidence, while raising awareness of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine during the ongoing war of aggression by the Russian Federation.

Announcing the panel’s choice, the PACE President said that the Council of Europe has worked since its creation to safeguard freedom, the rule of law and social justice on the continent. “Every year, the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize celebrates concrete, courageous and determined action by women, men and organisations who defend human rights. Their courage and determination in standing up for basic principles of justice and fairness deserve our profound respect and gratitude,” he added.

My post number 1000: Human Rights Awards finally made accessible for and by True Heroes

November 27, 2013

To mark my post number 1000, I have chosen the subject of human rights awards, timely as today, 27 November, is also the LAUNCH OF THE TRUE HEROES AWARDS DIGEST on  The number of human rights awards has exploded with over 50 new awards created in just the last decade, bringing the total number to well over 100. Most of the research was done when I was writing an article on Human Rights Awards for the Special Issue of the OUP Journal of Human Rights Practice on ‘The Protection of Human Rights Defenders” which comes out on 29 November (for more info go to: Doing the research I found that the information on awards is scattered all over the internet and that human rights defenders would greatly benefit if the dat were put all together in a searchable way in a single Digest.

Read the rest of this entry »

Defending Human Rights: The Havel Example

January 16, 2012

Aurel Braun and David Matas recently wrote an article for OpEdNews that puts strongly the case for seeing Havel foremost as a HRD. The article starts with a well-worded call to support HRDs abroad: “One reason we should stand up in Canada for human rights abroad is that we are safe in doing this.  Human rights defenders in repressive states are not.In spite of those risks, there are people of extraordinary courage and unrelenting commitment even in the most repressive states who at great personal risk to themselves and their families, respect human rights, call for others to do so and decry violations.  These human rights defenders give us yet another reason to raise our voices.   If they can risk so much, we who have nothing to lose should do our part.” ………”Havel was one of the co -‘writers of Charter 77, which in 1977 challenged the totalitarian Czechoslovak government to abide by the 1975 Helsinki Accords that had stipulated the protection of human rights. Fewer than 300 people signed the Charter, and the reaction of the Prague regime was to imprison many of the signatories, including Havel. He never retracted, he never stopped advocating, and repeated imprisonment never deterred him.”

Though very ill towards the end of his life, Vaclav Havel continued to fight for principles and wrote to HRDs in Belarus “I will continue to use every opportunity in the future, with my friends, to draw the international community’s attention to the violations of human rights in Belarus“.

Havel, who lived to see freedom and democracy come to Eastern Europe despite all the might of the Soviet superpower, and who played such a central role in that historic victory for human rights, proved that principles can and do prevail over power.

for the full article see: OpEdNews – Article: Defending Human Rights: The Havel Example.