Former Czech President Vaclav Havel has praised the two Iranian activists who were awarded the Homo Homini prize presented annually by the Czech NGO People in Need "in recognition of a dedication to the promotion of human rights, democracy, and nonviolent solutions to political conflicts" and called on them not to lose hope.
We reported earlier this week
that former student leader Abdollah Momeni and student activist Majid Tavakoli are the recipients of the prize, which was presented last night at a ceremony in a church in Prague.
Havel could not attend the ceremony, but he sent this message
"Of course all of us are interested in Iran's nuclear program and the nature of the current regime, just as we are interested in the abuses committed under the flag of Islam and whether or not the 2009 election was rigged. However, what I am most interested in are the brutal violations of human rights. I found myself in high political position thanks to peaceful public demonstrations and thanks to the students, who led them and made them happen. As a result, I have an elevated sensitivity for certain things and am deeply outraged and shocked that for participating in similar demonstrations in Iran, people are not only being sentenced to several years in prison, but are even being executed. It seems to me like an endless barbarity and I firmly believe this savagery is about to come to an end.
"I congratulate Majid Tavakoli and Abdollah Momeni for receiving the Homo Homini Award. I am glad that the prize has been given to them and I wish for them not to lose hope."