Prague, March 5 (CTK) – The 20th One World International Human Rights Film Festival started with presenting the Homo Homini award for human rights promotion to Vietnamese blogger Pham Doan Trang and with the first film screening in Prague Monday night.
The organisers, the People in Need NGO, appreciated the laureate’s courage with which she was striving for democratic changes in her country despite persecution.
The festival, held in Prague on March 5-14, also paid respect to murdered Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend whose photographs were screened during the opening ceremony at the Prague Crossroads centre in a former church in Prague.
Pham could not arrive in the Czech Republic because of her activities and this is why her co-worker took over the award on her behalf.
“It would be better if we were to live in a world where such awards would not have to exist,” said Pham about the Homo Homini award.
“In a world where we would not have to talk about the abuse of human rights, because such things would not happen. This is not the world we live in, though. And that is why I need your international support. Only then can the pressure on the Vietnamese regime become meaningful and bring about a change for the better,” Pham wrote.
Tunisian activist Lina Ben Mhenni, who was writing for Al-Jazeera and published in CNN as well, thanked Pham for her work in her speech. She said bloggers, participatory journalists and whistle-blowers were becoming a menace to undemocratic regimes.
The organisers say Pham is one of the leading personalities of the Vietnamese dissent, who points to the injustice committed by the communist regime in her blog. She also calls on the Vietnamese to stand up against repressions.
“She has been systematically intimidated by the state power, but this does not discourage her. Though she must be in hiding, she does not stop writing. She published her ninth book of late. It deals with democracy and its distribution in Vietnam is strictly prohibited,” People in Need writes.
People in Need has bestowed the annual Homo Homini award on persons who have greatly contributed to the promotion of human rights and democracy in the world since 1994.