Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

2017 | 17. Award Ceremony

June 9th 2017
Ceremonial Hall of the Austrian National Library, Vienna

Aslı Erdoğan
The international jury of the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights unanimously awards the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights to the Turkish author Aslı Erdoğan for her outstanding services to the development and protection of international human rights. The Bruno Kreisky Prize for Human Rights is named after the late Chancellor of Austria Bruno Kreisky and is the oldest, most prestigious human rights award in Austria. Aslı Erdoğan, who worked as a research physicist at CERN in Geneva, and was a guest as a "writer in exile" at the International House of Authors Graz from 2012 to 2013, has been very active in and unreservedly committed to the enforcement of human rights throughout her life. The manifestations of suffering and injustice, which she consistently investigates in her writings, serve as a benchmark in the work of Ms. Erdoğan, the committed human rights activist. Ms. Erdoğan is currently being prosecuted in her homeland of Turkey. She is being accused of four different crimes, including an indictment because of her column and her membership in a newspaper advisory board. She was arrested on accusations of disrupting the unity and integrity of the state and being a member of a terrorist organization. She was released on bail on December 29th, 2016, but has been banned from travelling abroad. Her next trial date is set for March 14th, 2017. The Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Prize to the writer Aslı Erdoğan also serves a symbol against massive restrictions of human rights.

Press releases:

Queer base
Queer Base is an organization of people with and without refugee experience in Vienna that supports refugee lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and interpersonal people in their asylum process and afterwards. Queer Base is funded by the Vienna Social Fund and supported by donors.
Queer Base ist eine Organisation von Menschen mit und ohne Fluchterfahrung in Wien, die geflüchtete Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle, Trans- und Interpersonen bei ihrem Asylverfahren und danach unterstützt. Queer Base wird vom Fonds Soziales Wien gefördert sowie von Spenderinnen und Spendern getragen. Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle, Trans- und Interpersonen sowie Queers (LGBTIQ) werden in über 70 Ländern der Welt kriminalisiert, von körperlicher, psychischer und sexualisierter Gewalt bedroht. In Österreich ist es seit längerer Zeit möglich, unter dem Titel „Angehörige einer sozialen Gruppe“ Asyl aufgrund von homo- bzw. transfeindlicher Verfolgung zu beantragen. Jedoch gibt es strukturelle Probleme, die die Situation von LGBTIQ-Geflüchteten verschlechtern. Queer Base organisiert in Kooperationen mit Organisationen wie Lares (Diakonie) spezifischen Wohnraum für LGBTIQ Geflüchtete und bietet den Geflüchteten in der Türkis Rosa Lila Villa ein Ort, um Gleichgesinnte und Verbündete zu finden. Es gibt außerdem kostenlose Unterstützung in rechtlichen Fragen und es wird an einem wachsenden Netzwerk an LGBTIQ Dolmetscherinnen und Dolmetschern sowie Peer Beraterinnen und Beratern gearbeitet.

UMF House Liebhartstal
The UMF Haus Liebhartstal was opened in August 2015. The house is run by the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund and is located in the 16th district of Vienna in a former retirement home. The first residents were a group of unaccompanied minor girls. In the course of the events in autumn 2015 and the acute need for accommodation for refugees, the number of residents quickly grew to 60 unaccompanied minor girls and boys from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and other African countries. Mag. Christine Okresek has been managing the UMF Haus Liebhartstal since autumn 2015. Next to the UMF Haus Liebhartstal is the house for refugee families and women, which is managed by Mag. Monika Thalhammer.
The young people live in three co-educational residential groups, and there is also a residential group for eighteen to twenty-five year olds. There are double rooms and a few single rooms with an integrated bathroom and a balcony, so that the young people's privacy and security are optimally guaranteed. Each residential group has a kitchen, in which cooking is done with and for the young people, as well as recreation rooms.

Of the Honorary award of the Bruno Kreisky Foundation for services to human rights was addressed to the lawyer on June 19 at 7 p.m. in the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogues Wolfgang Kaleck in special recognition of his legal work within the framework of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
In 2007, lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck founded the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin together with internationally active lawyers, and he has been its Secretary General and Legal Director ever since. As an independent organization, ECCHR, together with lawyers and organizations worldwide, initiates, operates and supports a large number of legal proceedings against state and non-state actors for international crimes. In the area of business and human rights, ECCHR uses a variety of legal means to take action against inhumane working conditions and their consequences.
Before ECCHR was founded, the specialist lawyer for criminal law had been working as a criminal defense attorney in the law firm "Hummel.Kaleck.Rechtanwälte" since 1991. Since 1998 he has also campaigned in the coalition against impunity for those responsible for the murder and the so-called enforced disappearance of Germans during the Argentine military dictatorship to be held accountable. From 2004 to 2008, Kaleck, together with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York, conducted criminal proceedings against US military personnel, including former US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
As a lawyer, Kaleck represents whistleblower Edward Snowden in his affairs in Germany and coordinates Snowden's legal team in Europe. In addition to his work as a lawyer, Kaleck also works as a publicist.