Posts Tagged ‘Prague’

A little gem in Prague: the Václav Havel Library

September 19, 2019

The Tennessee Journalist of 18 September 2019 carries a short featrure on a human rights asset in Prague: Beyond the bustling Old Town Square is a little library off a side street. With humble signage and a modest building, the Václav Havel Library welcomes thousands of people yearly. The library, named after and founded in 2004 by former Czech president Václava Havla, is meant to be a hub for education, art and social progress. The main meeting space holds about 100 people, and there are gatherings there almost daily from September until June. Events like debates, film screenings and literature nights are open to the public and frequently entice students.

There are two large conferences that the library hosts each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The spring conference is meant to discuss Havla’s European Dialogues and their implementation into today. In addition, the fall conference is to award and celebrate that year’s winner of the Havla Human Rights Prize. [see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/vaclav-havel-prize-for-human-rights-pace]

Aside from hosting events throughout the year, the library also serves as a publishing house. “A lot of Czech people don’t know who we are or what we do,” Stránská said. As the institution continues to grow, the concern of the financial requirement and having enough people to run the library continues to rise. “Three years ago, we did not have an education manager,” Stránská said. “Now we are thinking we’ll need to add another within the next year to help manage the interest.”

The library is open for use by researchers, as well as an online database available for public, global use. More information about the library, its history and upcoming events is located on its website.

News from the human rights film front (2019)

March 20, 2019

The HRW festival in London is still running (https://ff.hrw.org/london) but others have finished and here is a selection of the wining films:

ONE WORLD FESTIVAL

The film Heart of Stone has taken the Best Film prize at this year’s edition of the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague. The winning documentary is about an Afghan refugee in France. The Best Director award went to Denmark’s Mads Brugger, maker of Cold Case Hammarskjold.

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The 2019 FIFDH [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/01/20/17th-edition-of-the-geneva-international-film-festival-and-forum-on-human-rights-from-8-to-17-march-2019/]. The awards list is as follows (extract):

Grand Prize of Geneva

Endowed with CHF 10,000 – Offered by the City and State of Geneva: Delphine et Carole, Insoumuses, by Callisto McNulty Learn more

Gilda Vieira de Mello Prize in tribute to her son Sergio Vieira de Mello

Endowed with CHF 5,000 – Offered by the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation: On her Shoulders, by Alexandria Bombach Learn more

Youth Jury Prize

Endowed with CHF 500 – Offered by Peace Brigades International (PBI): Still Recording, by Ghiath Ayoub and Saeed Al Batal Learn more

Endowed with CHF 500 – Offered by the Eduki Foundation: Carmen y Lola  by Arantxa Echevarría Learn more

Grand Prize for Fiction

Endowed with CHF 10,000 – Offered by the Hélène and Victor Barbour Foundation: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by Chiwetel Ejiofor Learn more

Prize of OMCT

Endowed with CHF 5,000 – Offered by the World Organization Against Torture: Congo Lucha, by Marlène Rabaud Learn more

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And there is an award-winning Bahamian film “Cargo” which is being shown in cinemas: At the age of 9, Bahamian writer/director Kareem Mortimer saw haunting images of the bloated bodies of Haitian would-be migrants washed up on a beach. Apparently they were trapped and locked in the hold of a ship by a smuggler who did not have the decency to set them free. It was this experience that inspired him to make the drama/thriller feature film Cargo. The film previously debuted in Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, Suriname and St Lucia and will be released in the Trinidad, US and Canada in the summer. It has won five awards: Best Feature, Silicon Valley African Film Festival; Bahamian Icon Award; Best Film, Haiti International Film Festival, Los Angeles; Trident Award, Barbados Independent Film Festival; and Amnesty International Human Rights Prize for Film, TT Film Festival in 2017.
The poster for the film Cargo.

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https://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/french-doc-heart-of-stone-takes-top-prize-at-one-world-festival

https://fifdh.org/en/edition-2019/news/article/le-palmares-integral-du-fifdh-2019-349874

https://newsday.co.tt/2019/03/18/award-winning-bahamian-film-cargo-for-tt/

 

The new Prague Civil Society Centre explained

February 23, 2015

On 23 February 2015 Radio Prague reported that a new centre designed to promote civic engagement in post-Soviet countries has formally begun operating in Prague. The Prague Civil Society Centre seeks to cultivate values such as openness and human rights in countries such as Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine.  Download MP3  for the full interview by Dominik Jun with Rostislav Valvoda, head of the new centre.

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Azerbaijan harasses human rights defenders, even the recipient of the Homo Homini Award

March 7, 2013

( Ane Tusvik Bonde of HRHF  and Intigam Aliyev with the Homo Homini Award received on 4 March 2013)

In its intervention on 5 March 2013 at the Human Rights Council, the Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) welcomed the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, including the one to the General Assembly on legislation affecting human rights defenders. HRHF stated that they are concerned, as is the Special Rapporteur, by the fact that more and more countries misuse or design legislation in order to impede or even criminalise the work of human rights defenders, or to label them as “foreign agents” such as in the Russian Federation.

HRHF especially welcomed the communications re Azerbaijan, as published in the addendum to the Rapporteur’s report, including the communication about the closure of the Azerbaijan Human Rights House on 16 March 2011 and  the warnings against two NGOs threatened to be closed for their online publications on 5 March 2012. This communication has still not been answered. HRHF also regretted that Azerbaijan has not to date replied to the communication of the Special Rapporteur in relation to the arrest of photographer and blogger Mehman Huseynov, a case it already brought to the attention of the Council in July 2012.

Azerbaijan continues to use detention of human rights defenders as a tool to silence them. Most recently, on Saturday 26 January 2013, Intigam Aliyev was amongst 47 other demonstrators arrested for peacefully protesting in Baku. He was awarded the Homo Homini Award in Prague on 4 March, for his exceptional and courageous work in favour of human rights. Intigam Aliyev’s remains disbarred and his NGO blocked. In relation to this protest of 26 January,  Emin Milli was sentenced to administrative detention for 15 days for promoting the protest on Facebook in violation of article 298.1 and 298.2 of the code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Emin Milli was previously detained for 16 months along with Adnan Hajizade for publishing a critical video on Youtube. http://humanrightshouse.org/Articles/19109.html