The award celebrates Dzhemilev’s personal contribution to and tireless efforts in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and democratic values both under the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union and after Ukraine’s independence. Let us recall that the Platform of European Memory and Conscience brings together 37 government, academic, and museum institutions from 13 EU countries, Moldova, Ukraine, and Canada. The organization aims to unite efforts to disseminate information on the activities of totalitarian regimes and commemorate their victims.
“I am delighted that our members have chosen to award it to the former Soviet dissident who is now fighting for human rights, democracy and the rule of law against the aggression of Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet annexation policy,” the Platform’s president Goran Lindblad noted. “The Platform is well aware of and endorses the efforts made by Dzhemilev to protect the rights of the Crimean Tatar people, including today, because Crimea has been illegally annexed by the Russian Federation, and we hope that this award will contribute to support for his case,” the organization stated in a press release. The award will be presented at international conference “The Legacy of Totalitarianism Today” to be held in Prague on June 12-13.
“The Center for Research on the Liberation Movement NGO and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People are Ukrainian members of the Platform. It was an honor for our organization as a member of the Platform to vote for presenting this award to Dzhemilev,” director of the Institute of National Remembrance and member of the Center for Research on the Liberation Movement Volodymyr Viatrovych told The Day. “I think that it is important for him to be honored at this very moment, because in addition to those terrible hardships which he experienced in his life, he is now going, together with his people, through a very difficult stage. Therefore, the attention of the world to Dzhemilev and the fate of his people is very important. This award is an effort in this direction, too. I think that people like Dzhemilev should be celebrated and heard more by the current Ukrainian authorities, too. For my part, I will try to remind the authorities about it.”