People in Need  Human Rights  Homo Homini Award

Homo Homini Award

Homo Homini Award

Sapiya Magomedova, 2013 laureate

Foto: PIN Archive

People in Need have decided to award the Homo Homini 2013 to Sapiyat Magomedova, young lawer working in Dagestan, for her great personal courage and sticking to her high principles with which she faces violence, personal threats and other real dangers that she exposes herself to in her job. Sapiyat Magomedova represents clients in very sensitive cases that other lawyers refuse, as they fear for their safety. Four years ago, the police attacked her when she wanted to visit a client. The attack has not yet been investigated. The award was handed during the opening ceremony of the One World human rights documentary film festival in Prague on March 3, 2014.

Founded in 1992 and having worked in over 40 countries around the world, People in Need is predominantly focused on humanitarian, development and human rights support. It is also the organizer of the One World documentary film festival that has grown to be the largest showcase of human rights documentaries in the world. Until his passing away, the Homo Homini award has traditionally been handed over by the former Czech President Václav Havel.

Previous recipients of the Homo Homini Award:

2012

Intigam Aliyev

The 8th August 2014 - Intiqam Aliyev, prominent Azerbaijani lawyer and human rights defender and 2012 Homo Homini Laureate, has been detained in Baku. 

'My detention is a part of the general policy course aimed at silencing and totally exterminating the independent NGOs in the country. It is no mere coincidence that, in recent months, several other rights defenders have been arrested on similar charges,' said Intigam. Read more here.

Intigam Aliyev, human rights lawyer from Azerbaijan, received the Award for his personal courage and exceptional commitment to defending persecuted individuals. Intigam Aliyev is president of the Legal Education Society, an independent Azerbaijani non-governmental organization, founded in 1998 and aimed at achieving the development of legal consciousness and legal culture in the society of Azerbaijan. The organization is engaged in defense of human rights, preparation of strategic litigation cases, training of lawyers and human rights education. Aliyev has submitted more than 200 cases to the European Court of Human Rights. His actions were successful in a number of cases concerning the right to vote, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial. In addition, he provided legal aid to a number of activists persecuted for peaceful protests, uncovering corruption or critical articles.

2011

Doctors Coordinate of Damascus

Doctors Coordinate of Damascus is a network of health care workers that provides clandestine medical aid to injured civilians of the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising. The group treats bystanders cut off from regular medical care by the ongoing violence as well as injured protesters who would be at risk during the regular security sweeps of local hospitals. According to Amnesty International, injured protesters face arrest and torture if found in Syrian hospitals, and in some cases medical staff has even participated in the torture of the patients. In other cases, injured opposition members have been forcibly disconnected from medical equipment, including respirators. In the summer of 2011, the Doctors Coordinate constructed a clandestine field hospital to treat the growing number of wounded.

2010

Azimjan Askarov

Azimžan Askarov, Kyrgyz activist, painter and writer, who has defended human rights and interests of unjustly accused. Askarov was sentenced to life imprisonment in the manipulated trial. His son took over Homo Homini award instead of him. Along with Askarov seven other people was convicted and sentenced to long time imprisonment. The award is symbolically intended for human rights defenders in the region of Central Asia, where the most repressive regimes in the world exist. Situation of human rights defenders in these regions is dismal and the number of political prisoners reaches the thousands. Askarov worked in exceptionally difficult conditions in a relatively remote part of one of the provinces of Kyrgyzstan. He pointed out at torture in prisons, defended the rights of the unjustly accused. He managed to force the government to initiate new investigations and punish police officers who violated human rights. He was accused of involvement in the murder of a police officer who died in 2010 during riots between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Bazar-Kurgan region and sentenced to life imprisonment.

2009

Majid Tavakoli and Abdollah Momeni

The 2009 Homo Homini award was given to two Iranian student leaders Majid Tavakoli and Abdollah Momeni, who have been repeatedly chased, kept in prison and tortured for political reasons. Together with them, also the Iranian student movement was symbolically awarded in the span of two generations. Tavakoli is participating in public activities, such as fighting against disrespecting of human rights and political rights of citizens, from 2006 when he was for the first time arrested and imprisoned for fifteen months for the offence to Islam and to Iranian government. Since then he is continuously chased. For the last time he was sentenced in January 2010 to eight year´s imprisonment. The second awarded, Abdollah Momeni, belongs to an older generation of student leaders and supporters of the Iranian "Green movement", which means supporters of pro-reform thinking. As a prominent member of pro-democratic opposition he has achieved fame mostly for his activism during the riots in 1999, since when he is for political reasons continuously persecuted, kept in prison and tortured. As well as Majid Tavakoli, who follows in the student movement activities the legacy of Momeni´s opposition activity, he was also sentenced to eight year´s imprisonment.

2008

Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese literary critic and dissident, currently imprisoned for political reasons. The reason for awarding Mr. Liu Xiaobo with the Homo Homini prize is his complex attitude to asserting human rights and his bravery in fighting for freedom of speech for more than twenty years now. In spring 1989, at the time when the protest movement at Tchien-an-men square begun, he was actively engaged in the protests. Finally, he was among the last ones who stayed at the square, helping to get the rests of the protesters to safety. For the first time he was imprisoned after the massacre at the Tchien-an-men square. After getting the freedom back he started with publishing his articles abroad. He became a co-founder of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre of which he is an honorable president. In 2008 he became one of the authors and first signatories of the 2008 Charter. According to the Charter, Liu Xiaobo has been sentenced to eleven year imprisonment for "Inciting subversion of state power". The imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo has brought about tens of disapproving reactions all around the world. On the 8th of October 2010, despite the protests of Chinese government, he became a laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize.

2007

Su Su Nway, Phyu Phyu Thin and Nilar Thein

Su Su Nway, Phyu Phyu Thin and Nilar Thein are three Burmese human rights defenders, awarded with the Homo Homini prize for defending civil rights and rights of the tortured and persecuted. All these three women were for the same reasons kept in prison or they had to be in hiding from the military regime. The first one from the awarded, Su Su Nway, is a prominent Burmese activist and a member of the National League for Democracy. As a first Burmese citizen she has succeeded in attacking the Burmese military junta (SPDC) for its gruesome practices in forced labour. After that she was kept in prison for eight months. For her "selfless dedication to justice" she was awarded with a prestigious human rights and democracy prize – John Humphrey´s Freedom Award. Phyu Phyu Thin is a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and a well-known defender of people infected with HIV. With her colleagues she has founded a clinic in Rangoon, intended for HIV-positive patients who are not supported by the state hospitals. Phyu Phyu Thin was arrested and imprisoned twice, for the last time in 2007 in connection with her activity in NLD. For some time she also had to be hiding so the clinic was run by her colleagues. In the present time she takes care of around 160 patients. The last one awarded, Nilar Thein, is a Burmese activist, who was imprisoned for fighting for the support of democracy between the years 2008 and 2012. She was declared by Amnesty International as a "prisoner of conscience", which means that she was imprisoned for her beliefs, race or political opinions.

2006

Svetlana Gannushkina

Svetlana Gannuskhina is a Russian human rights activist. At the end of the 80s, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, she was tending to the needs of refugees. In 1990 she had co-founded a non-governmental organization "Citizen Help" which was campaigning for the protection of human rights and integration of migrants and refugees into the Russian society. She is also a co-founder of the human rights center "Memorial". During the first and second Chechen War she has begun being concerned in protecting human rights of Chechen people. She also made a contribution to the foundation of Law Center, an UNHCR Center for Providing Humanitarian Aid to Refugees or a Psychological Help Center for Traumatized Children. In Moscow she has founded a center where volunteers are teaching Russian, English or math to Chechen children, who could not attend school because of the conflict. Nowadays, Svetlana Gannuskhina is a member of the Council for the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights. For her activities she was, besides others, awarded with a Nansen Award and also she is a serious contender for Nobel Peace Prize.

2005

Ales Bialacki and the Belarusian organization Viasna

Ales Bialiatski, a representative of democratic Belarusian opposition and a head of the biggest Belarusian humanitarian organization Viasna, received a Homo Homini award for his extraordinary contribution in defending rights of his fellow citizens and providing help to the victims of politically motivated repressions. When the dictatorial regime in Belarus had brutally repressed the demonstrations of its opponents, Bialiatsky started with helping to their families. In 2011 was Ales Bialiatsky arrested on suspicion of tax evasions. The incentive for the prosecution was the existence of Polish and Lithuanian bank accounts of his organization Viasna. The money was intended to help the victims of Belarusian regime. The arrest has provoked an international disagreement, the Amnesty International declared Bialiatsky on the 11th of August as a prisoner of conscience. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially appealed to Belarus for setting Bialiatsky loose. Pavel Bělobrádek, the KDU-ČSL party leader has stand security for Bialiatsky to enable a non-custodial investigation. In 2012 was Bialiatsky nominated for his work, humanity and courage for the Sakharov Prize – a prize annually awarded by the European Parliament to people fighting for human rights. In September 2013 he was historically the first person awarded with the international Václav Havel prize for human rights, which is awarded jointly by the Council of Europe, Charta 77 Foundation and the Václav Havel Library.

2004

Gheorghe Briceag

Gheorghe Briceag was a Moldavian activist, a Soviet gulag prisoner for many years and an opponent of Soviet regime. In the 40s he was sentenced for distribution of anti-communist leaflets and kept in gulag for ten years. During all this time he was forced to work in mines. After setting loose he was expelled from the country for seven years. Later he has become a symbol of resistance to Soviet occupation of Moldavia. The Homo Homini price was given to him for a persistent effort in defending human rights and for personal activities in defending former gulag prisoners in the territory of Moldavia. In the following year he was a part of the jury of Rudolf Vrba on the International Human Rights Documentary Festival organized by People in Need. In the same year he made a stand against the repeated installation of Vladimir Lenin´s statue in his home city of Bălţi. Moldavian Supreme Court has finally cancelled the decision of the Bălţi City council, which gave permission to the installation. Briceag was also cooperating with Amnesty International. He died in 2008.

2003

Nataša Kandić

Nataša Kandić is a prominent Serbian activist, human rights defender and a founder of a Center for Humanitarian Law in Beograd – an organization fighting for human rights and reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia. The Homo Homini award was given to her for a long-time human rights defense and for her personal bravery in clarifying crimes against humanity committed in the area of former Yugoslavia. She was, with an enormous courage, publishing the information about these crimes, committed by Serbian units during the Balkan conflict from Bosnia to Kosovo. Kandić has received many international awards for her work, but in her home country she is perceived very controversially, also because she is sued for libel by Serbian president Tomislav Nikolić.

2002

Thich Huyen Quang, Thich Quang Do and Nguyen Van Ly

Three leading defenders of human rights, democratic and religious freedoms in Vietnam.

2001

Zackie Achmat

A South African activist whose great personal efforts set off a campaign to lower the cost of drugs to fight AIDS in third-world countries.

2000

Min Ko Nain

A student leader and long-term political prisoner of the military regime in Burma.

1999

Oswaldo Payá Sardiňas

The central figure in the Cuban Christian opposition movement and a leading personality in the Varela Project.

1998

Ibrahim Rugova

The recently deceased leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo and president of Kosovo for his non-violent opposition to the Yugoslav regime.

1997

Szetó Wah

A leading politician from Hong Kong, who stands against the dictatorship in China and fights for democratization and the maintenance of human rights in Hong Kong.

1994

Sergej Kovaljov

The well-known Russian defender of human rights who was a force for mobilizing public opposition to the war in Chechnya.

 

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The One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, organized by People in Need, is currently the largest documentary festival on human rights in the world.

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