APA0020 / 10.06 Mon, Jun 10, 2013
Syrian Mazen Darwish honored for his commitment to freedom of the press, Ethiopian Bogaletch Gebre in the fight against genital mutilation and Austrian Cecily Corti for his commitment to the homeless
Damascus/Addis Ababa/Vienna (APA) - This year's Bruno Kreisky Prize for services to human rights goes to the Syrian journalist and activist Mazen Darwish, who has been imprisoned by the regime under President Bashar al-Assad since February 2012. Darwish was honored at the suggestion of the international award commission because he campaigned for freedom of the press and drew attention to the disappearance of reporters and bloggers in his home country, the Kreisky Foundation justified its choice.
Darwish founded the "Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression" (SCM) together with other activists in 2004 and, according to the broadcast, reported among other things on the situation of political prisoners in his home country. Because of his commitment, a travel ban was imposed on Darwish in 2007. He was arrested several times, most recently in February 2012 when his organization's offices were stormed. To date he has not been released. In his place, his wife Yara Bader will accept the award on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the state hall of the National Library in Vienna.
According to the Kreisky Foundation, the Ethiopian human rights activist Bogaletch Gebre is also honored for her tireless and successful fight against female genital mutilation in her home country. Together with her sister, she founded the "Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma-Tope" (KGM) group, which still campaigns for women's rights and marginalized groups in Ethiopia. In addition, KGM implements women's health and education programs.
Cecily Corti, chairwoman of the Vinzenzgemeinschaft St. Stephan and co-founder of the homeless facility VinziRast in Vienna, is the third person to receive the award. The VinziRast in Vienna-Meidling is an emergency shelter with 48 beds for the homeless. In addition, the VinziRast-CortiHaus with 16 apartments was opened in 2008 and a shared flat for alcoholic homeless people in 2011. Corti has been awarded the Gold Medal of Merit for services to the Republic of Austria.
(SERVICES: SCM: http://scm.bz/?lang=en, KGM: http://kmg-ethiopia.org/, Vinzirast: http://www.vinzirast.at/)