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.   

A Word about Words – samizdat essay

„The point I am trying to make is that words are a mysterious, ambiguous, ambivalent and perfidious phenomenon. They can be rays of light in a realm of darkness, as Belinsky once described Ostrovsky’s Storm. They can also be lethal arrows. Worst or all, at times they can be one or the other. They can even be both at once!“

Václav Havel:
A Word about Words – samizdat essay, July 25, 1989

Just Because I AmPavel Juráček: From the Life of a Buffoon