Committee Against Torture Wins Prize

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has awarded its 2011 Human Rights Prize to Russia’s Committee Against Torture in recognition of the organisation’s role in assisting victims of serious human rights abuses. The prize honours “outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe.”

A panel, which included leading figures from the world of human rights, recommended the Committee Against Torture from among ten individuals and organisations nominated for the prize, praising its “effective independent investigations” alongside official state investigations, especially in Russia’s war-torn Chechnya.

“By ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee has contributed to the reinforcement of the rule of law and has made an important contribution to the fight against impunity,” the prize panel said. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Strasbourg during the Assembly’s June 2011 session.

The Nizhny Novgorod-based Committee Against Torture was founded in 2000 by several local human rights defenders, including the organisation’s present chairman, Igor Kalyapin. The Committee’s representative, Olga Sadovskaya, was recently elected to the Steering Committee of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/NewsManager/EMB_NewsManagerView.asp?ID=6523&L=2

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