Three nominees 2016

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 alphabetical order):

  • 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.   

Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay

„For the real question is whether the brighter future is really always so distant. What if, on the contrary, it has benn here for a long time already, and only our own blindness and weakness has prevented us from seeing it around us and within us, and kept us from developing it.“

Václav Havel:
Power of the Powerless – samizdat essay, October 1978

What Price Human Rights?