Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Bruno Kreisky Prize – Prammer emphasizes the importance of political education in the fight for human rights

Subtitle: Awarding of the 14th Bruno Kreisky Prize for services to human rights to ASPIS, ESRA, HEMAYAT, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Maestro Daniel Barenboim =

Vienna (OTS / SK) - President of the National Council Barbara Prammer emphasized the importance of political education in the fight for human rights at the presentation of the 14th Bruno Kreisky Prize for services to human rights on Friday evening. "Meanwhile, 20 percent in Austria want a strong leader instead of democracy," Prammer warned, referring to a study, emphasizing the value of tolerance and the need to know what intolerance and hate speech can lead to. According to Prammer, the award-winning organizations contributed to a harmonious coexistence with their work and set strong signs for tolerance and peace.

The President of the National Council praised "the leitmotif of crossing national lines of conflict by means of mutual cultural debate and acceptance", which has been the focus of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Maestro Daniel Barenboim since it was founded together with the late literary scholar Edward Said. "The ensemble of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, characterized by musical excellence, brings together young musicians from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia and Andalusia," says Prammer. This contributes to mutual appreciation and recognition and promotes dialogue. The project is thus in the best tradition of Bruno Kreisky, who repeatedly endeavored to bring peace to the Middle East by means of initiatives for direct talks.

The "ASPIS" facility, which was also awarded, is an independent body at the University of Klagenfurt that offers help for people traumatized by the experience of violence, especially for survivors and victims of torture of Nazi terror, but also for younger displaced persons. The award winners emphasized the importance of "fighting against right-wing radicalism, racism and intolerance" and addressed their difficult situation in Carinthia, where they also received no subsidies. They also warned of the spread of right-wing extremist parties in Europe.

The association ESRA offers survivors of Nazi persecution and their descendants comprehensive help and supports Jewish migrants who have immigrated to Austria in the last few decades in their integration process. Over 1,500 people who survived the Holocaust and are still suffering from the long-term effects of the Shoah were treated. "Traumatized people need social recognition and acceptance," says David Vyssoki from ESRA. This recognition had to be won first.

HEMAYAT has established itself in Vienna as a center for medical, psychological and psychotherapeutic care for victims of torture and war survivors. The association tries to rebuild refugees in their country of exile. Terrible deportations often occur because traumatized people find it difficult to remember what they have experienced and those affected are not believed in the asylum procedure, said Friedrun Huemer, who spoke as a representative of the association. (close) pep/sv

Further inquiries: SPÖ federal organization, press service, Löwelstraße 18, 1014 Vienna, Tel.: 01/53427-275

OTS0029 2011-05-21/12:08