Prague Society for International Cooperation awarded leader of the Belarusian movement “For Freedom” Aliaksandr Milinkevich the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award. His award Milinkevich passed to Paval Seviarynets.
In contrast to the conferences where the human rights and the freedom criteria in its spreading in different cultures were discussed, this conference was solemn. The former Czech president Vaclav Havel arrived and when the award founder Marc Ellenbogen asked the tired during the day Havel to say some words to Milinkevich, the former Czech president, Forum 2000 founder answered shortly:
“I don’t know who will be the next president of Czech, but Belarusian one – Milinkevich”.
Then Marc Ellenbogen told the audience the biographies of Milinkevich and Paval Seviarynets. Milinkevich told much about Paval, too. As the result there were two names on the prizewinner screen, Radio Svaboda reports.
In his speech Milinkevich said it was the prize the whole Belarusian democracy for which Seviarynets fight with courage, for all the people who feel themselves European in real European country. He reminded the famous people of Belarus. In particular Dostoevski, Shostakovich, Adam Mickiewicz. After the interview to Radio Svaboda one of the polish “Solidarność” (“Solidarity”) movement, chief editor “Gazeta Wyborcza” ("Election Newspaper") Adam Michnik appreciate high the Milinkevich’s personality, saying he is real European politician.
The prize was established by Marc Ellenbogen in the honour of his mother, who grew in post-war Germany and dedicated her life to the integration of the people. In 2003 Vaclav Havel became the winner of the prize and he passed it to "Nasha Niva" editor Andrey Dynko. There is a tradition to pass the Prize to others. Among the recipients of the award are Madeleine Albright, Miloš Forman, and Lord Robertson.
It should be reminded that Milinkevich met the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright. She said in her speech that the USA will support the leaders that can guarantee the democracy in Belarus. Among them she called Milinkevich.