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Assembly launches new €60,000 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

A new Parliamentary Assembly prize honouring outstanding civil society human rights activities in Europe and beyond, was launched today in Prague.

The annual Václav Havel Human Rights Prize will be awarded by the Assembly, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation. Individuals, non-governmental organisations and institutions working to defend human rights can be nominated for the award worth €60 000.

“We all need our human rights to be better protected but collective advances flow from enormous personal commitment and sometimes personal sacrifice,” said the assembly’s President Jean-Claude Mignon (photo). “The work achieved by civil society deserves more publicity and recognition. That is what this Prize is all about.”

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.

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize replaces the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Human Rights Prize, which was created in 2009 and awarded every two years, first to British Irish Human Rights Watch and then, in 2011, to the Russian NGO Committee against Torture.

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