Polish Prize of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Awarded to individuals and non-governmental organizations for their efforts to promote peaceful coexistence and cooperation among societies, religions and cultures.
Winners of the 7th edition of the Award:
Nagy El-Khoury – Maronite and the director of the Alumni Association of Notre Dame de Jamhour College; and Sheikh Mohammad al-Nokkari, former executive director of Dar Al. Fatwa and the head of the Office of Sunni Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, are both activists for Christian-Muslim dialogue in Lebanon. In 2007, thanks to their efforts, 25th March – the Day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – has become the day of regular meetings between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon and interreligious dialogue throughout a whole region. In 2010 the Day of the Annunciation of the B.V.M, described both in the Bible and in the Koran, was recognized by Lebanese authorities as the Christian-Muslim national holiday. During its celebrations on 25 March 2010, the former President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Wałęsa was its guest of honour.
The Memorial Association has operated since 1989 striving to preserve the memory of the victims of Stalinist repression and the subsequent political repressions in countries of the former USSR. Memorial carries out documentary, archival and historical research, legal and educational activities on political imprisonments and exile, as well as monitors human rights violations. Thanks to the Association, publicly available exhibitions, collections of documents and specialist libraries that gather materials on political repressions during totalitarian communist system, were created. In 1991, on the initiative of the Memorial, the Act on Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression was enacted to restore the honour of thousands of citizens of the former Soviet Union and 30 October was set the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression.
Andrzej Przewoźnik (1963-2010) – historian, columnist, involved in the activities of the Independent Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity” in the years 1981-1989. The editor-in-chief of “Niepodległość” magazine. From 1992 he served as the Secretary General of the Council for the Protection of World War II memorials. He was involved in the construction of Polish war cemeteries in Katyn, Mednoye and Kharkov, war cemetery and a memorial to victims of the crimes in Jedwabne, as well as restoration of the Cemetery of the Defenders of Lviv. He was a vice-president of the Committee for Commemorating Katyn Victims at the Prime Minister’s Office (1994-1998). Member of museum councils, including: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Museum of Independence in Warsaw, Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War in Łambinowice-Opole, Warsaw Uprising Museum, World War II Museum in Gdansk. He died tragically on 10 April, 2010 in a presidential plane crash near Smolensk.