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Iraqi survivor of IS attack among finalists of Václav Havel Award

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Prague, Aug 30 (CTK) – Nadia Murad of the Yazidis community in Iraq, who survived a Jihadist attack on her family, Serbian journalist Gordana Igric and the French Human Rights Institute are the finalists of the international Vaclav Havel Award for Human Rights, the organisers announced in Prague yesterday.
The award has been bestowed by the Council of Europe (CE) in cooperation with the Prague-seated Vaclav Havel Library and the Charter 77 Foundation.
The winner of the annual prize that rewards outstanding civil society action will be announced at the opening of the CE Parliamentary Assembly session in Strasbourg on October 10.
The award bears the name of Vaclav Havel, the late thinker, human rights promoter and Czech president. This year’s awarding ceremony will be the fourth since Havel’s death in December 2011.
Murad is a brave woman who managed to flee IS in northern Iraq and brings the plight of the Yazidi community, mainly the sexual enslavement and the trafficking in women and children captured by IS, to the forefront of international attention, CE Parliamentary Assembly President Pedro Agramunt said.
Last year, Nadia spoke about the attack on the Yazidis at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council and demanded protection of the community and a halt to the genocide.
Igric is an active defender of human rights and media freedom who reported extensively on war crimes during the Balkan wars and set up the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She continues promoting the freedom of speech and highlighting the cases of human rights abuses.
The International Institute of Human rights is a French organisation seated in Strasbourg and with 300 members across the world, including academics, scientists and human rights activists.
The institute was established by Rene Cassin using the money that went to him as the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1968.
Last year’s winner of the Vaclav Havel Award was Liudmila Alexeyeva, a long-standing human rights fighter in Russia and holder of the Sakharov Prize for the freedom of opinion.

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