On November 12 the Chairman of Civic Assistance Committee Svetlana Gannushkina won Yegor Gaidar Prize in the main nomination “for actions that contribute to the formation of civil society”.
Others nominated in this category were a Chairman of Committee for the Prevention of Torture Igor Kalyapin and a Chaiman of Interregional Association of Human Rights Organisation “Agora” Pavel Tchikov.
Nominees, who are struggling “with arbitrariness of government authorities”, were presented by the Head of Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva. “Pavel Tchikov and “Agora” are from Kazan, Committee for the Prevention of Torture is located in Nizhniy Novgorod. You know how difficult to overcome the difference between capital and regions, but they do their job all over Russia”, Lyudmila Alexeyeva stressed the importance of human rights activists work.
But the prize itself was conferred to “moscovite, who defends the most vulnerable”, Lyudmila Alexeyeva introduced the Chairman of Civic Assistance Committee. In her congratulatory speech Lyudmila Alexeyeva emphasized the efficiency of Committee work. “You know I recently overheard that in football there is a leader in goals and a leader in attempts. We are likely to be leaders in attempts”, ansewered her Svetlana Gannushkina.
“Today Human Rights Center Memorial has been accused of undermining the constitutional system of Russia”, continued Svetlana Gannushkina, “For the fact that we opposed the annexation of Crimea and argued against our military involvement in the Ukranian events. But what happened in Crimea, this is exactly the violation of the Article 15 of the Constitution of Russian Federation! Because this was the violation of the international treaty and according to Article 15 of the Constitution, international treaties prevail over domestic legislation. For the fact that we support prisoners of “Bolotnaya Square case”. But bringing people to justice and putting them in jail for quite long terms for the peaceful demonstration we violate Article 31 of the Constitution which guarantees citizens the right to express freely their opinions. Who in this case undermines the constitutional system of the Russian Federation? “Memorial”, “Civic Assistance”, Igor Kalyapin Commitee for the Prevention of Torture, who asked me to say, that he also joins us, and all our colleagues have already joined the action “We are Memorial” similar to “Je suis Charlie”. Today this is the best expression of solidarity with us, the support of our common work for the preservation of our society, our country and our Constitution.
There were four nominations for Gaydar Prize this year. Director of the Institute of Demography of Higher School of Economics Anatoly Vishnevsky was awarded for the outstanding contribution in the field of economics. And the Head of Polish Program of “Memorial” Alexandr Guryanov won the Prize for the contribution in the field of history. A former German ambassador to Russia Ernst-Jorg von Studnitz was awarded for the development of international humanitarian relations with Russia.
The Prize is being awarder since 2010. Its nominees in different years were economist Yevgeniy Yasin, journalist Olga Romanova, former Czech president Vaclav Klaus and others.