State prizes for human rights defenders and charities

Moscow, 04.09.2014

Prizes will be awarded annually and will be worth 2.5 mn roubles each. Winners will be selected by a public commission appointed by the Presidential Administration. The draft presidential decree on the awards was published on the website of the Russian Justice Ministry.

They will be awarded to people who “engage in active, fruitful social work which receives widespread recognition in Russia”. President Putin called for setting up these awards  in September 2013 after a meeting with members of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights. It was suggested to him by the Director of the Foundation “Just Help”, Elizaveta Glinka.

Members of the selection commission for prize winners will include two representatives of each of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office, the Public Chamber and the Presidential Council for Human Rights, three regional Ombudsmen and three representatives of regional public chambers. Any civil society or non-commercial organisation or individual can nominate candidates for prizes. Prizes will be financed from 2015.

Ella Pamfilova, Human Rights Ombudsman, told Kommersant the prize should elevate the status of human rights defenders. Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, said he hoped the selection process would be a sound one. He said he would wait and see what version of the draft decree would be signed by the President.

Author: Georgy Ivanushkin

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