Press Release – Stockholm, 30 November 2014
2014 Right Livelihood Awards presented in Stockholm: “Investing in so-called security has not prevented human rights abuses in Africa,” says ‘Alternative Nobel Winner,’ Asma Jahangir
On Monday 1 December, the 2014 Right Livelihood Awards (also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prizes”) will be presented to Alan Rusbridger from the U.K., Asma Jahangir from Pakistan, Basil Fernando and the Asian Human Rights Commission (Hong Kong), and Bill McKibben and 350.org from the U.S. The Award Ceremony will take place in the Swedish Parliament, Second Chamber, from 4 pm.
Edward Snowden, who shares the Honorary Award with Alan Rusbridger, will not participate in person but via live video link. Ole von Uexkull, the Right Livelihood Award’s Executive Director: “Ed Snowden’s Award Diploma will remain in Stockholm and wait for him. We trust that Sweden will make it possible for him to travel safely and freely so that he can receive the award into his own hands.”
The following quotes are taken from the award speeches prepared by four Laureates:
ALAN RUSBRIDGER (UK):
“The internet is the thing they fear. The thing they want to master. The space in which we may all find darkness as well as light. But the very reasons the State wants to tame, penetrate and control the digital universe are the same reasons which make it an instrument of liberty.”
ASMA JAHANGIR (PAKISTAN):
“There are trillions of dollars spent on so-called security; yet innocent girl victims in Nigeria could not be protected. Such incidents are indications of decay in global governance. Security oriented institutions and individuals (…) are taking the lead in making global policies. Security and economic interests take precedence over human rights and sustainable peace. (…) The gap between expectations of the people and the deliverance of sound governance is widening.”
BASIL FERNANDO (AHRC, Hong Kong):
“It is not the laws set out in the books that protect people. We have such laws in abundance, but the existence of those laws did not prevent widespread lawlessness. The presence or absence of protection is determined by and dependent on functioning institutions of justice, meaning a functional police system, prosecution system and judicial system.“
BILL McKIBBEN (350.org, USA):
“We simply must defeat those forces that want to delay large-scale change so they can have a decade or two more profit. There’s no ducking that fight: If you invest in fossil fuel companies, you profit from the destruction of the earth. That’s the definition of dirty money. Those who invest in fossil fuel companies are making a wager that the world will do nothing to combat climate change. That’s an immoral wager.“
Please note that since the award announcement on September 24th, the total prize money for this year’s awards has been raised from SEK 1,5 million to now SEK 2 million. The three cash award recipients – Bill McKibben, Basil Fernando and Asma Jahangir – will equally share this sum.
Further information and media resources
The prepared award acceptance speeches will be made available at 4 pm, December 1, when the Award Ceremony begins, at our online press room: http://www.rightlivelihood.org/press-room.html
There will be a live web-stream from the ceremony accessible via our website: www.rightlivelihood.org
For videos and high-resolution pictures, including a group photo (available after 15.30 CET), please refer to:
!! Please note that we are going to upload video and pictures from the Award Presentation during/after the ceremony, so please check back !!
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