Strasbourg, 26.09.2013 – The first ever Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – is to be awarded at a special ceremony on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Monday 30th September 2013.
The selection panel will make a final choice from among the three shortlisted nominees on the eve of the ceremony, with the overall winner of the €60 000 prize to be announced by the Assembly’s President Jean-Claude Mignon at 12.30 p.m. in the Debating Chamber, in the presence of representatives of the three shortlisted nominees.
The shortlisted nominees, drawn from among 27 nominations received which fulfilled the criteria for the Prize, are (in alphabetical order):
• Ales Bialiatski (Belarus)
• Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (Georgia)
• Rights Defence Network (China)
The award ceremony, to be streamed live over the internet from 12.30 p.m. to 1 p.m., will feature introductory remarks from the President of the Assembly, who chaired the six-member selection panel, a short film on the Prize, a video message from Vaclav Havel’s widow Dagmar Havlová, and an acceptance speech by the prize-winner or their representative.
A press briefing will be held at 1 p.m., immediately after the ceremony, in front of the office of the PACE President.
Information on the shortlisted nominees
Live video stream of the ceremony (due to begin at 12.30 p.m. French time)
More on the Vaclav Havel Prize
Note to editors
The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, to reward outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.
The Prize is awarded in memory of Václav Havel, playwright, opponent of totalitarianism, architect of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and an enduring symbol of opposition to despotism.
Nominations of any individual, non-governmental organisation or institution working to defend human rights are taken into consideration. The Prize consists of a sum of €60 000, a trophy and a diploma.