July 2016 – Paraguay’s Secret Archives in the Spotlight
In June, 2002 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Martín Almada visited Moscow on the invitation of fellow Laureate Russian NGO Memorial, for the first in a series of public lectures on human rights. Dr Almada, who discovered the so-called ‘Archives of Terror’ in Paraguay, shared his experience with some 70 participants from civil society and academia.
Memorial’s work focuses on the preservation of individual and collective memories of human rights abuses across the former Soviet Union. Dr Almada then travelled to Geneva where he met with UN human rights officials and held an informal discussion at the Foundation’s Geneva office moderated by Swiss TV personalilty Romaine Jean.
Mounting Support Against Riksdagen Speaker’s Decision
On 8 June, the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Urban Ahlin, announced that the Right Livelihood Award will not be allowed to host its annual ceremony in Riksdagen, breaking the 30-year tradition of award presentation in Parliament.
This unilateral decision comes despite mounting support from across the political spectrum in Sweden, with 14 parliamentarians from seven parties calling on the Speaker to continue hosting the Right Livelihood Award ceremony in Parliament.
According to a recent survey by the Foundation, almost 2,000 Swedish politicians from all parties, or 84% of respondents, supported continued presentation of the award in Parliament.
DW Global Media Forum Puts Values First
This year’s DW Global Media Forum, held in Bonn, Germany from 13-15 June, took the theme of “Media. Freedom. Values”. Speaking in the wake of the Orlando massacre in the US, 2015 Laureate Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera called for stepping up global efforts to uphold LGBTI rights. She was joined by the Vice President of the German Bundestag Claudia Roth, Syrian gay activist and journalist Mahmoud Hassino, and Editor-in-Chief of MÄNNER Magazine Kriss Rudolph.
Meanwhile, the Foundation’s Executive Director Ole von Uexkull debated the values that underpin our current economic system, arguing for a clear hierarchy between politics and the economy. “The economy will only serve the needs of the people and respect the environment if it operates within a framework that is defined politically, based on our values as a society,” von Uexkull said.
Life After Torture: Dignity Comes First
26 June marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, a cause to which Dr Inge Genefke, 1988 Laureate, has dedicated her life.
It is thanks to Dr Genefke’s legacy, such as the establishment of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), that more torture survivors can now find the assistance and treatments they need. But the work is not done yet.
Together with IRCT, Swedish Red Cross and fellow Laureate Kvinna till Kvinna, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation is organising a discussion on the topic of ‘Life After Torture’ on 6 July, during this year’s foremost Swedish political forum known as Almedalen. With unprecedented numbers of people fleeing from violence in recent years, what does Sweden and the world need to do today to support victims of torture?
Vandana Shiva and Raul Montenegro’s Fight for Seeds
1993 Laureate Vandana Shiva visited Argentina to participate in the third edition of FINCA, the environmental film festival in Buenos Aires and Cordoba. On 10 June, Shiva and fellow Laureate Raul Montenegro visited the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas, Cordoba Province, where activists have been protesting against Monsanto’s plans to build the world’s largest plant for genetically modified maize seeds.
Together with “Malvinas lucha por la vida” (‘Malvinas fights for life’) and the citizens’ assembly, Laureates chanted “No To Pesticides” and “Monsanto Out”. During the visit, Shiva also expressed her enthusiastic support to the recently inaugurated Right Livelihood College Campus in Cordoba.
MST and Foundation Concerned about Brazil’s Future
The repression against social movements in Brazil is growing as the country’s unelected government is launching reforms that are threatening the environment and people’s access to land and food.
“Swedish pension money is part of the problem”, writes Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, in a joint op-ed with Latinamerikagrupperna, 1991 Laureate Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra (MST) and two other organisations. The article was published in Omvärlden, a leading Swedish magazine for global issues.
Looking Ahead: This Month’s Events
SAVE THE DATE! The Right Livelihood Award European Regional Conference 2016 will be held near Geneva, from 28 October to 1 November. 31 October will be reserved for public events with Laureates.
CURLS 2016: the second Chula Right Livelihood Summer School will be held between 10 July and 7 August in Thailand and Bhutan.
On 12 July, Berlin will host the premiere of the film “Count Down am Xingu V” featuring 2010 Laureate Erwin Kräutler. The documentary sheds light on the environmental and social impact of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil.
2 July marks the 50th anniversary of the first French nuclear test on the Murorua atoll, Polynesia. Read more about 1991 Laureates Marie-Thérèse and Bengt Danielsson, who denounced the French nuclear colonialism in the Pacific.
More News from the Foundation & Laureates
The 2015 Annual Report of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation is now available on the website. It contains a presentation of last year’s Laureates, a summary of the Foundation’s work in 2015, and a financial report.
In the fifth podcast of the ‘Voices of Right Livelihood’ series, Jamila Raqib of the Albert Einstein Institution, founded by 2012 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Gene Sharp, talks about effective ways to counter violence.
On 21 June, the Foundation sent its warmest birthday wishes to 2014 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Edward Snowden, who turned 33. Read about Snowbot, a 5ft tall robot that helps him get around exile.
During the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2016, the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and the Foundation held a joint side event that examined the alarming trends of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Pakistan.
1992 Laureate Alla Yaroshinskaya’s new book “Chernobyl. Big Lie” was published in Japan on the occasion of the nuclear disaster’s 30th anniversary in April this year.
Please note that the Stockholm office will be closed from 18 to 31 July.