Dear Sir or Madam, Today, former Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, received the European Civil Rights Prize of theMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2012View SourceDear Sir or Madam,
Today, former Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, received the European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. The prize endowed with 15,000 euros was awarded by the Documentation and Cultural Centre, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, as well as the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation. The special award endowed with 5,000 euros went to Romanian journalist George Lacatus.Hammarberg, who held office as Commissioner for Human Rights until 31 March 2012, said in his acceptance speech that prejudices against the Roma are still widespread and continue to fuel discrimination and hate crimes. Politicians and opinion makers, in particular, must therefore avoid any stigmatising rhetoric against this community. "Repression of the Roma in the past has been the product of racism and intolerance," said Hammarberg, who went on to stress our obligation "to learn from history and not repeat the terrible mistakes of the past." The laureate stressed that collective scapegoating must stop. In his study published in February 2012, Hammarberg writes, "no European government can claim a fully successful record in protecting the human rights of the Roma. Roma continue to suffer from widespread discrimination and anti-Gypsyism which feed the cycle of disadvantage, exclusion, segregation and marginalisation."
Please find the press release and a picture of the event attached (from left to right: Thomas Hammarberg, Manfred Lautenschläger, George Lacatus und Romani Rose). Photographs have been taken by Jens Jeske. Please find all speeches and texts on www.buergerrechtspreis.de or www.civilrightsprize.com. You can find the speech of the Minister of State on www.auswaertiges-amt.de.
We look forward to your coverage.
With kind regards,Armin Ulm