In Memoriam

The RLA Foundation mourns the death of two of its Laureates, Irene Fernandez (deceased March 31st) and Hans-Peter Duerr (deceased May 18th).

“We must change the rules of the global economy, for it is the logic of global capitalism that is the source of the disruption of society and of the environment. (…) We need to take this challenge for we can no longer see and watch people dying, women sold and forced into prostitution, families torn apart, racism and xenophobia pushing its ugly head through violence and children denied a future.” Irene Fernandez

Irene Fernandez (RLA 2005) was a Malaysian human rights defender, who dedicated her life to advancing the rights of women and migrant and domestic workers. After revealing the appalling conditions migrant workers are forced to face in detention camps, the Malaysian government accused her of publishing wrong and malicious information and imprisoned her. She was acquitted after a 13-year trial and continued fighting for human rights until her sudden death in March.

“Peace in its real sense can never be achieved by military measures or technical fixes… It is high time for us to focus our attention on the real problems which are threatening all of us – in fact, life on this planet.“ Hans Peter Duerr

Hans-Peter Duerr (RLA 1987) was a German physicist and philosopher, a pioneer in the peace and environmental movements, who excelled in his cross disciplinary career, leading a wide range of institutes and organisations. Amongst others, he was the director, vice-chair and chair of the Max-Planck-Institute of Physics and an important voice in the nuclear disarmament debate in the 1980s.

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