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Former presidential candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich has surrendered his Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award in favor of young opposition leader Pavel Sevyarynets.
As Mr. Milinkevich’s spokeswoman Yuliya Kotskaya told BelaPAN, the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award is presented every year to people dedicated to public service. Mr. Milinkevich won the award in September 2007.
“The handover of the award is a long-running tradition,” she said. “Former Czech President Vaclav Havel, who won the award in October 2003, passed it to Nasha Niva editor Andrey Dynko.”
“I’m honored to pass this award to Pavel Sevyarynets, an outstanding young politician, leader of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, founder of Malady Front,” Mr. Milinkevich said. “Pavel is a brilliant leader of the Belarusian pro-democratic youth. His moral principles, Christian values and open resistance to the authoritarian regime are an example of a person of unyielding spirit and of faith in the victory of freedom and justice. His commitment to democratic values give him a compelling voice with both the young generation and all the Belarusian pro-democratic community.”
The Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award was established in 2000 by the Prague Society for International Cooperation, whose honorary chair Frederik Willem de Klark, an ex-president of South Africa, holds a Nobel Peace Prize. The award is named after mother of the president of the Society, Marc Ellenbogen. Hanno Ellenbogen grew up in the post-war Germany and is remembered for her contribution to breaking down the barriers dividing the nation.
The prize carries with it a check of about $7,500.
Among other recipients of the award are former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Czech President Vaclav Havel and former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson.
The prize is given with the stipulation that the financial portion of the award be passed to a gifted young person.
According to Ms. Kotskaya, the awarding ceremony will be held in the Czech Republic’s Prague on October 8.