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Memorial Society nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

18 April 2013 

Source: (info
Officials from the European Parliament (EP) and from major European non-governmental organizations, along with several leading international public figures, have launched a campaign to nominate the Russia-based Memorial Society for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Polish MEPs Róża Thun and Krzysztof Lisek, who are taking part in the campaign, issued the following statement: “Memorial Society conducts research, description and documentation of political persecutions carried out during the communist dictatorship against citizens of various nationalities who were then living within the territory of the Soviet Union. The international Memorial Society was created to restore the memory and dignity of tens of thousands of victims of political repression.”

“In addition, the Memorial Society records human rights violations that occur in the present day and makes its records accessible in the public domain. This expert information is used by numerous people and organizations across the world,” Lisek said.

Chairman of the Civic Platform-Polish People’s Party coalition, Jacek Protasiewicz, noted that Memorial Society simultaneously provides assistance to political prisoners, refugees, and national and ethnic minorities across various parts of the former Soviet Union. According to Novaya Gazeta Brussels correspondent Aleksandr Mineev, the staff and representatives of Memorial Society continuously face threats and persecution, both in its Moscow office and in its other branches.

The European Peoples Party (EPP), which includes the Polish Civic Platform and the Polish People’s Party among its members, is the largest and most influential political fraction in the European Parliament. It brings together 271 members of parliament from 26 EU member-states.

“Despite threats and hardships, the people of Memorial steadily and effectively work to fulfill their mission. Regardless of the price they have to pay, they continue to unite people of different worldviews, nationalities and generations around the values of peace, liberty, and human dignity. For decades, Memorial and its activists have served as our memory of things we do not want to remember, a warning against events we do not like to think of, and a conscience for all of those who fail to react to the humiliation of another human being,” said Róża Thun in an interview with the European television news channel, Euronews.

A March 2013 statement in support of Memorial’s candidacy, signed by leading Polish intellectuals such as Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Adam Michnik, Aleksandr Smolyar, Jerzy Pomianowski, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Piotr Mitzner, Zbigniew Gluza, Krystyna Kurczab-Redlich, Adam Daniel Rotfeld and many others, said the following: “Memorial Society is the good and noble face of Russia that is turned toward Poland. Memorial has helped thousands of Poles uncover the truth about the fates of loved ones who were subjected to persecution under the Soviet Union. We are deeply grateful for the work of this organization. Memorial is the wonderful ambassador of a new Russia.”

The Nobel Peace Prize is arguably the most prestigious award for contributions to the promotion of peace. It is awarded each year by the Nobel Committee based in Oslo.