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2015 Václav Havel Prize: shortlist of three ‘outstanding’ human rights defenders to be named

The shortlist for the 2015 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – three individuals or organisations judged to have undertaken “outstanding” civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond – is to be announced at a press conference at Prague’s Kampa Museum at 1 p.m. on Tuesday 25 August.

The 60,000-euro annual Prize, being awarded for the third time, is sponsored by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Czech Government, the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation.

The selection panel for the Prize – made up of six independent figures (*) recognised for their moral standing in the field of human rights, and chaired by PACE President Anne Brasseur – will meet earlier in the day to decide on the shortlist from among the nominations submitted from around the world.

The three shortlisted nominees will then be invited to attend a ceremony on the opening day of the Parliamentary Assembly’s autumn plenary session in Strasbourg, Monday 28 September, when this year’s overall prizewinner is due to be announced.

Last year’s Prize went to imprisoned Azerbaijani human rights defender Anar Mammadli. The inaugural Prize, in September 2013, was awarded to Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski.

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Practical information

The press conference will take place at 1 p.m. on 25 August 2015 at the Kampa Museum (U Sovových mlýnu 2, 118 00 Prague 1 – Malá Strana, tel. +420 257 286 147). Present will be: Anne Brasseur, PACE President; Martin Palouš, member of the Václav Havel Library Board; František Janouch, Chairman of the Board of the Charta 77 Foundation.

Václav Havel Library contact: Marta Smolíková, tel. +420 603 89 75 82
Charta 77 Foundation contact: Julie Růžičková, tel: +420 702 001 962
PACE contact: Angus Macdonald, tel. +33 3 88 41 34 39

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(*) František Janouch, Chairman of the Board of the Charta 77 Foundation; Dick Marty, former member of the Swiss Senate and former PACE member; Nuala Mole, senior lawyer and founder of the AIRE Centre; Marek Antoni Nowicki, human rights lawyer and President of the UN Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo; Martin Palouš, board member of the Václav Havel Library and former Czech Ambassador; Christos Pourgourides, former Member of the Cyprus House of Representatives and former member of PACE.

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