Homo Homini Goes to 11 Cuban Dissidents. Asunción Carillo Hernández, Mother of One of the Winners, Took the Award in Prague last night.Published: Mar 8, 2016 Reading time: 3 minutes
Prague, 8th March, 2016 - Eleven Cuban dissidents who fight for democratic changes and human rights in Cuba, were granted the Homo Homini award which is given annually by the People in Need organisation to those who play an important role in the struggle for human rights around the world.
Asunción Carillo Hernández, mother of one of the winners, took the Homo Homini award from Czech minister of Justice, Robert Pelikán, during the ceremony last night. Laureates themselves could not arrive due to the restrictions of the Cuban regime which do not allow them to travel freely.
Despite regime pressure to emigrate, the 11 former “Black Spring” political prisoners remain on the island and continue to fight for the greater freedom of the Cuban people. People in Need director Šimon Pánek praised ”the courage of these people, after having spent several years in jail, their adherence to the principles and consistency is staggering," as he summed up reasons why the prize was awarded to them.
Asunción Hernández then recalled the other former political prisoners imprisoned during the Cuban Black Spring in 2003 who left for exile but have continued their joint efforts to gain freedom for Cubans.
Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of a prominent Cuban opposition politician Oswaldo Payá who died three years ago under unclear circumstances said: „We are facing very confusing times today. The Cuban Regime tries to sell an image of change to the international community, while Cubans on the Island remain in scarcity and without the possibility of a better life, because we do not have the fundamental freedoms that guarantee the empowerment of any society. The regime is no longer interested in ideology, but in the preservation of its absolute power.“ She also called on Europe support the public participation and the right of Cubans to choose their own future. (Complete speech here)
The keynote speech was delivered by Bahey El Din Hassan, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies director who reflected on the situation in the contemporary Arab world. He stressed the role of civil society in the peace process and mentioned the positive example of Tunisia where the Tunisian national dialogue Quartet (made up of the union federation UGTT, the employers’ institute, the Tunisian human rights league and the order of lawyers) managed to avert the looming instability. “The fifth actor, who made a decisive contribution for making the “Tunisian exception” possible, is the Tunisian military leadership, which refrained from interfering in politics and remained as a trusted distant guardian of the post-revolution political process; an example that military leaders from other Arab countries should take a closer look at.“ (Complete speech here)
Additional information about the Homo Homini Award can be found at www.homohomini.net.
More information: Adela Pospichalova, People in Need, firstname.lastname@example.org