‘Alternative Nobel’ Laureates from Egypt and Turkey Barred from Travel, Behind Bars Despite UN Support

Press releases 24.11.2016


2016 Right Livelihood Awards To Be Presented in Stockholm on 25 November

Two Laureates of this year’s Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, are being prevented from receiving their award in person at a ceremony in Stockholm tomorrow.

Egyptian feminist Mozn Hassan, who was recognised by the award jury “for asserting the equality and rights of women in circumstances where they are subject to ongoing violence, abuse and discrimination” is under a travel ban imposed on her by the Egyptian authorities.

Although the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet will be represented at the ceremony by Zeynep Oral, Cumhuriyet columnist and President of PEN-Turkey, and columnist Isıl Özgentürk, the Chairman of Cumhuriyet Foundation Orhan Erinç has been prevented from travelling to Stockholm, with 10 other Cumhuriyet journalists and staff – Hakan Kara, Hacı Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Murat Sabuncu, Turhan Günay, Kadri Gürsel, Önder Çelik, Güray Tekin Öz and Akın Atalay – currently under arrest in Turkey.

The Laureates’ situation has received attention from two UN Special Rapporteurs, who have spoken out against the restrictions on Mozn Hassan and Cumhuriyet.

In a statement issued today, Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, urged Egypt to revoke the travel ban on Mozn Hassan and other leading members of Egypt’s civil society immediately, ruling that this restriction was incompatible under international law. Mr Forst’s statement has been endorsed by David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

Last Friday, Mr Kaye visited five jailed Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey and called for their immediate release. He cited police raids against Cumhuriyet as an example of how the state of emergency in Turkey has been deployed against critical journalism.

Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, said: “We are deeply saddened that Mozn Hassan and several senior Cumhuriyet staff will not be able to receive their Right Livelihood Awards in Stockholm tomorrow. At the same time, we truly appreciate the engagement of UN Special Rapporteurs to take up these cases. We applaud their courage to stand side by side with our Laureates and unequivocally denounce undue restrictions on their liberties, and we urge the governments of Egypt and Turkey to heed their recommendations without delay.”

2016 Right Livelihood Award Ceremony

The 2016 Right Livelihood Award Ceremony takes place in the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, on 25 November, and is a by-invitation-only event. A live-stream will be available via www.rightlivelihoodaward.org from 7:00 pm.

The Laureates of this year’s Right Livelihood Award are:

Ceremony programme:

  • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Guided tours of the Vasa Museum and welcome by Eva-Lena Jansson, M.P., Chair of the Association for the Right Livelihood Award in the Swedish Parliament (SÄRLA), and Lisa Månsson, Director of the Vasa Museum
  • 7:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Jakob von Uexkull, President Founder of the Right Livelihood Award, Speech & Presentation of the 2016 Awards
  • 25 pm (estimate): Group photo of the Laureates
  • 8:00 pm onwards: Laureates’ Speeches. Each Laureate will be introduced by a member of the Swedish Parliament

The Award Ceremony will be conducted in English.

Laureates’ Programmes

In addition to the award ceremony, the Laureates will attend a series of public events in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. The programme is available online at http://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/2016-award-ceremony/

Media materials

Further information materials including videos and high-resolution photos for media use can be accessed via www.rightlivelihoodaward.org

Interview opportunities

If you are interested in interviewing one or several Laureates, or representatives of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, please contact:

International media: Xenya Cherny-Scanlon, Director of Communications, Right Livelihood Award Foundation, xenya@rightlivelihood.org or +41 76 690 8798

Swedish-speaking media: Johannes Mosskin, Public Relations Advisor, Right Livelihood Award Foundation, johannes@rightlivelihood.org or +46 70 437 11 48

German-speaking media: Holger Michel, Press Officer D-A-CH, Right Livelihood Award Foundation,
presse@rightlivelihood.org or +49 178 6623 679

Spanish-speaking media: Nayla Azzinnari, phone: +54 3543 422 236, mobile: +54 9 11 54 60 98 60, e-mail: nayla@rightlivelihood.org


About the Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to “honour and support courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems”. It has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and there are now 166 Laureates from 68 countries. In addition to presenting the annual awards, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation supports its Laureates, particularly those who may be in danger due to the nature of their work. Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German professional philatelist, sold his business to provide the original funding. Since then, the awards have been financed by individual donors. The four 2016 Right Livelihood Award Laureates will share the cash award of SEK 3 million (ca. EUR 320 000).


Press release in PDF : PR Laureates Stockholm EN


Media contacts

Emoke Bebiak

English, French & International Media

E-mail: emoke.bebiak@rightlivelihood.org
Phone: +41 (0)78 333 84 84

Nayla Azzinnari

Spanish Media

E-mail: nayla@rightlivelihood.org
Phone: +54 9 11 5460 9860

Nina Tesenfitz

German Media

E-mail: presse@rightlivelihood.org
Phone: +49 (0)170 5763 663

Johannes Mosskin

Swedish Media

E-mail: johannes@rightlivelihood.org
Phone: +46 (0)70 437 11 48