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The European Parliament announced yesterday that Dr. Denis Mukwege has been named Laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014, which will be awarded in Strasbourg in November. He will receive the Prize for his struggle to protect women.
The RLA Foundation welcomes the decision and congratulates Dr. Mukwege. In 2013, he had received the Right Livelihood Award "...for his courageous work healing women survivors of war-time sexual violence and speaking up about its root causes".
More information about the Sakharov Prize.
The delegation of the Right Livelihood Award that travelled to Maraba, Para State in Brazil last year to provide support and solidarity to members from Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra (MST) and Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) has now reacted to a new series of murders of Brazilian activists. They wrote open letters to all the candidates standing for the upcoming Brazilian Presidential elections.
In these letters, the delegation consisting of Raul Montenegro, Angie Zelter (of Trident Ploughshares) and board member Marianne Andersson urge all presidential candidates to explicitly state what are their positions and concrete proposals for eradicating any and all kinds of violence against peaceful activists who defend human rights and the environment, for protecting and preserving the lives of threatened people and for the building of a more just and sustainable society.
In response to yesterday’s announcement of this year’s Right Livelihood Awards, three recipients have recorded video messages, and two recipients circulated statements.
Watch Edward Snowden's video.
Watch Alan Rusbridger's video (provided by The Guardian).
Read Asma Jahangir's reaction to the Award.
Read Basil Fernando's statements on the AHRC website.
The full press release with quotes from the Laureates is available here.
Today the Right Livelihood Award Foundation announced the 2014 Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award: Edward Snowden (USA) and Alan Rusbridger (UK) receive a joint Honorary Award. Three more awards go to Asma Jahangir (Pakistan), Basil Fernando / Asian Human Rights Commission (Hong Kong, China), and Bill McKibben / 350.org (USA).
“This year’s Right Livelihood Laureates are stemming the tide of the most dangerous global trends. With this year’s Awards, we want to send a message of urgent warning that these trends – illegal mass surveillance of ordinary citizens, the violation of human and civil rights, violent manifestations of religious fundamentalism, and the decline of the planet’s life-supporting systems – are very much upon us already. If they are allowed to continue, and reinforce each other, they have the power to undermine the basis of civilised societies.
But the Laureates also demonstrate that the choice is entirely in our hands: by courageous acts of civil disobedience in the public interest, through principled and undeterred journalism, by upholding the rule of law and documenting each violation of it, and by building social movements to resist the destruction of our natural environment, we can turn the tide and build our common future on the principles of freedom, justice, and respect for the Earth.”
For more information, please visit our Press Room page.
Today, the Government of Sweden bestowed the Illis Quorum Meruere Labores, a gold medal awarded for outstanding contributions to Swedish culture, science or society, on Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the Right Livelihood Award.
Jakob von Uexkull received the medal (12th size) from the Swedish Minister for Environment, Lena Ek. It is the first time that the Minister for Environment has presented this award, as it is very rare that it is given for work related to the environment.
"I am very grateful for this prestigious award! I chose to present the Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm because Sweden was the first country to honour people from around the globe whose work offered 'the greatest benefit to mankind', as Alfred Nobel said. It was also Stockholm that hosted the very first UN conference on environmental problems in 1972. Thus it feels right that the prize I founded for those who courageously take on responsibility and who find practical solutions has been presented here, in the Swedish Parliament, for many years." said Jakob von Uexkull upon receiving the medal.