The Alternative Nobel Prize goes this year to four different laureates. Among others, the organization "White Helmets", Syria Civil Defence, is awarded for its commitment in saving civilians in the Syrian civil war.
This was announced by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation on Thursday. The 3.000 volunteers from the "White Helmets" have risked their lives since 2013 to rescue people from the rubble of destroyed buildings in the war zone, the Stockholm-based foundation said in its statement. "The White Helmets were bakers, tailors, salesmen or teachers in peacetime and now – as trained firefighters, search and rescue workers, and medics – have over 60.000 lives saved."
Award for Turkish newspaper "Cumhuriyet
In addition, three other awards were given. An award goes to the Turkish newspaper "Cumhuriyet" in recognition of its "fearless investigative journalism and unconditional commitment to freedom of expression despite repression, censorship, imprisonment and death threats". The employees of "Cumhuriyet" had accepted "immense personal risks such as assassination and imprisonment"."The daily newspaper, which was founded in 1924, is one of the oldest in Turkey. In mid-August, editor-in-chief Can Dundar had resigned from his post. In justification, he said he feared unjustified persecution by the Turkish judiciary after the attempted coup in mid-July. Dundar is currently staying in other European countries.
Egyptian feminist honored
Egyptian feminist Mozn Hassan and her organization Nazra for Feminist Studies were honored "for their commitment to equality and women's rights in circumstances of ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination". After the sexual assaults on women at rallies during and after the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the organization "Nazra" had not only denounced the sexual violence, but also provided medical, psychological and legal assistance to the victims.
Prize for Russian human rights activist
In addition, Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina was awarded "for her decades-long commitment to human rights and justice for refugees and migrants, and for promoting tolerance between different ethnic groups". Through their work, they have helped to draw public attention to human rights violations in crisis regions, particularly in the Caucasus.
"This year's laureates are addressing our most pressing global challenges – be it war, freedom of speech and press, women's rights, or the plight of refugees and migrants," said Right Livelihood Award Foundation Director Ole von Uexkull.
The Alternative Nobel Prize has been awarded annually since 1980. This year's laureates share the prize money equivalent to 315.000 euros. Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award has honored 166 laureates from 68 countries to date.