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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2016 Václav Havel Prize

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, comprising independent figures from the world of human rights and chaired by the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Pedro Agramunt, drew up the shortlist of candidatures in Prague today.

The shortlisted nominees, in alphabetical order, are:

• Gordana Igrić

A journalist from Serbia and an active defender of human rights and media freedom, she reported extensively on war crimes during the Balkan wars and set up the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN. Through her work, she keeps the flame of freedom of speech alive and puts a spotlight on human rights abuses.

• International Institute of Human Rights – René Cassin Foundation

Since 1969 the Institute has worked for the promotion of human rights and peace through teaching and research. It organises specialised training courses which contribute to the dissemination of the principles of democracy and the rule of law and to the extensive strengthening of guarantees for the protection of human rights, especially in conflict and/or post-conflict zones.

• Nadia Murad

A young, brave Yazidi woman, who managed to flee ISIS in northern Iraq. Today a human rights activist, she brings the plight of the Yazidi community, in particular the forced sexual enslavement and human trafficking of women and children captured by ISIS, to the forefront of international attention.

The overall winner of the annual prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond, is due to be announced at the opening of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on 10 October 2016 at 12:30 pm.

“Václav Havel’s legacy is more relevant today than ever,” said the President, announcing the shortlist. “The former Czech President and playwright, who would have been 80 this year, was an enduring symbol of opposition to totalitarianism, and knew at first hand that courage and determination was needed to defend human rights. He was always a great supporter of individuals and NGOs who joined him on that difficult path.”

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by PACE, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, and consists of a sum of 60,000 euros, a trophy and a diploma.

PACE Communication Division: +33 3 88 41 31 93 ; [email protected]
Václav Havel Library: Veronika Brázdilová: +420 222 220 112
Charta 77 Foundation: Julie Ruzickova: +420 702 001 962