Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

1984 | 3rd award

November 23rd 1984
Schwarzenberg Palace

An impressive 14 institutions and personalities were honoured at the 3rd award ceremony on November 23rd 1984 at the Schwarzenberg Palace, Vienna.

State secretary Johanna Dohnal und Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the future President of Brazil, in 1984.

Numerous awards went to people and institutions from Latin and Central America. The Brazilian workers- and union leader and later President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was honoured for his brave work under the Brazilian military dictatorship. Vicaria de la Solidaridad was a well deserving recipient for its work in support of political prisoners and their families in Chile. Legal advice and material support for destitute families was among the means of assistance offered by the group of Catholic priests and their helping hands. In the course of their work the members of the group were persecuted by the dictatorship.

Guatemalan human rights lawyer, Yolanda Urízar de Aguilar, was kidnapped by the Guatemalan authorities in 1983. Her husband and seven year old son were murdered in 1975, and her sixteen year old daughter imprisoned and tortured in 1979. The Austrian Aid Committee for Nicaragua was honoured for its ambitious reconstruction work in Nicaragua. The Salvadorian human rights lawyer, Marianella García Villas, who was murdered in 1983, was posthumously honoured.

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the beginning of Ronald Reagan's Presidency, and that of Margaret Thatcher's in Britain, Cold War tensions escalated dangerously and led to a new arms race. In response, the Bruno Kreisky Foundation signalled its support for peaceful dialogue between East and West by bestowing an award on the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a group of leading international scientists who advocated a comprehensive ecological, social and peaceful security policy. The UCS received the award for their consistent demand for nuclear disarmament.

Eric van Loon receiving the prize in the name of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Scientists accepted the prize.

Similarly the Catholic archbishop of Seattle, Raymond G. Hunthausen, also received an award for his call for nuclear disarmament.

Muzaffer Saraç, Turkish unionist and opposition politician, met with severe reprisals and persecution from the Turkish authorities in the 1970s and 1980s. The award from the Bruno Kreisky Foundation sought to support his work for human rights and democracy and protect Saraç from further reprisals.

The Austrian League for Human Rights was founded in 1926 as one of the 105 member organisations of the Fédération International des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) with its headquarters in Paris. The League received the prize for its outstanding contribution to raise awareness in human rights in Austria. Prelate Msgr. Leopold Ungar, the long-serving head of Caritas Austria, was a well-deserving recipient not only for his important humanitarian service in Austria and abroad, but also for his consistent engagement for the protection and development of human rights.

Other honoured institutions and people in Austria were the Austrian Aid Committee for Nicaragua, the Society of Friends of Tel Aviv University in Austria, the Austrian Volkshilfe and Oswald Amstler.

Turkish unionist and opposition politician Muzaffer Saraç receiving the prize from Anton Benya.
l. to r.: Leopold Ungar, Sepp Wille, Leopold Gratz, Anton Benya, Bruno Kreisky.
Shulamit Aloni giving her acceptance speech in 1984.

Shulamit Aloni, an activist and later Israeli Minister, was honoured for promoting Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Austrian Relief Committee for Nicaragua, the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Universität Tel Aviv / Association of the Friends of the University of Tel Aviv in Austria, the Austrian Volkshilfe and Oswald Amstler other institutions and people in Austria are awarded. With Shulamit Aloni honored an activist of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue outside the Israeli mainstream and later Israeli minister.