Natasa Kandic, founder and executive director of the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Center, received the Civic Courage Award established this year by the US Northcote Parkinson Fund. The award, which is given to persons “who resisted evil in spite of great risk,” was presented to Ms Kandic on 26 September at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. The award includes a cash prize of 50,000 US dollars.
A special Northcote Parkinson cash prize will be presented to Sergei Khodorovich, formerly of the Russian Social Fund, an organization established by the famous Russian writer and dissident, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
The award was given posthumously to German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a victim of Nazism, Judge Giovanni Falcone for his unflinching struggle against the Sicilian mafia, attorney Rosemary Nelson, who was assassinated while defending political prisoners in Northern Ireland, Neelan Tiruchelvam, a Sri Lankan peace activist who was killed by extremists last year, and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved many Jews from Nazi persecution.
Natasa Kandic, founder and Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center, and Viosa Dobruna, founder of the Center for Protection of Women and Children in Kosovo and Co-Minister for Democratization with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, are recipients of this year’s human rights award of the Italian Alexander Langer Stiftung-Onlus Foundation. The award will be presented to them on 2 July at a ceremony during the Euro-Mediterranean Festival in Bolzano, Italy. The award was established in 1997 in memory of Alexander Langer, a member of the European Parliament who died in 1995. In his election campaigns, Langer always devoted special attention to the citizens of Bolzano, a small city poplated by members of different ethnic communities.
The previous recipients of the Alexander Langer Award are Khalida Messacudi, member of the Algerian Parliament and a prominent champion of women’s civil rights (1997); Jolande Mukagasana of the Tutsi people whose entire family was massacred and whose book is a moving testimony about the Rwanda genocide in which 800,000 lost their lives, and Jacqueline Mukansoneri, a Hutu, who saved the life of Yolande at the risk of her own (1998); and last year the Chinese dissident couple, Ding Ziling and Jiang Peikun, both former philosophy professors at Beijing University, who have dedicated their lives to collecting documentation on all students killed by Chinese troops during the massive anti-government demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 and publicizing their names. The couple’s 17-year-old son, Jiang Jelian, was among those killed during the demonstrations.
The Foundation gives the award to people who are committed to the defense of universal human rights, establishment of civil society, good relations among nations and environment protection. The award carries a prize of 2,000 German marks. Natasa Kandic will donate her share of the prize to the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Sandzak.
Natasa Kandic, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center, and Veton Suroi, Editor-in-Chief of the Albanian-language daily Koha Ditore of Pristina, have been awarded this year’s human rights award of the Netherlands Geuzenverzet Foundation.
The prestigious award is given to individuals and institutions who strive for the establishment and preservation of democracy and against dictatorship, discrimination and racism.
Established in 1987, the award is presented to the laureates on 13 March in memory of 18 members of the Geuzen Dutch resistance group who were shot by German occupation forces at The Hague on 13 March 1941.
Natasa Kandic, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center, a Belgrade-based human rights and humanitarian law organization, and Veton Suroi, founder and editor-in-chief of the Kosovo Albanian-language Koha Ditore daily, are the recipients of this year’s award of the US National Endowment for Democracy. The award, given in recognition of their commitment to the development of democracy, will be presented to them at a ceremony on Capitol Hill, Washington, on 3 May. Laureates of the award include Vesna Pesic (1993), Martin Lee (1997) and Wei Jingsheng (1998).
The National Endowment for Democracy award is the second given jointly to Ms Kandic and Mr Suroi. They received this year’s Geuzen Medal at The Hague earlier this month.