Award of the Sakharov Prize to Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi:
- Shirin EBADI, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender Nobel Peace Prize© 2003
- Karim LAHIDJI, Lawyer and Human Rights activist;
- Costa-GAVRAS, filmmaker.
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 12/12/2012 First transmission: 12/12/2012
By awarding the Sakharov Prize to two Iranian activists, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film director Jafar Panahi, the European Parliament acknowledges their plight and their outstanding efforts in their incessant struggle for human dignity, fundamental freedoms and political change in Iran, said President Martin Schulz at the Sakharov Prize award ceremony on Wednesday in Strasbourg. The laureates designated five people to represent them at the ceremony: Dr Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate in 2003, Mr Karim Lahidji,Founder of the Iranian Association of Jurists and of The League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, Ms Solmaz Panahi,daughter of Jafar Panahi, Mr Costa-Gavras, President of the Cinémathèque Française, Mr Serge Toubiana,Director General of the CinémathèqueFrançaise. "We, in the European Parliament, fully support our laureates' cry for justice and freedom in Iran and for respect for basic rights and freedoms, We are honouring these people who are standing up for a better Iran" said President Martin Schulz, who concluded by calling for the immediate release of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg.
||SOUNDBITE (Iranian) Shirin EBADI, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender Nobel Peace Prize© 2003: "The Sakharov Prize puts the spotlight on the human Rights situation in Iran and the empty chair of the two laureates during the ceremony will be demonstration of how the Iranian government for over 30 years has been repressing its own people and their rights".
||SOUNDBITE (Iranian) Shirin EBADI, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender Nobel Peace Prize© 2003:"The Iranian people are unhappy with their current government and they want reforms to take place in the country, yet the Iranian people do not want to resort to violence. One of their demands is to have free and fair elections in Iran under the supervision of the United Nations so they urge the UN to please pay attention to that demand so it can be fulfilled".
||SOUNDBITE (Iranian) Shirin EBADI, Lawyer and Human Rights Defender Nobel Peace Prize© 2003: "The Iranian people wish that the nuclear negotiations do not overshadow the human rights issue in the country and that the West doesn’t merely pay attention to its own national security but also think about the security of the Iranian people too".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Karim LAHIDJI, Iranian Lawyer and Human Rights activist: "I am representing here Ms Nasrin Sotoudeh because she is my colleague and my friend; because after her detention we have done everything in our hands for her to be released, and we haven't succeeded, although we are still hopeful. We are very worried about the situation of Nasrin and other human rights defenders. It is a great honour for me to be here representing Nasrin Sotoudeh and collecting her prize. Her speech is a courageous one; she's a very brave woman. Despite her two years in prison, despite this week of hunger strike, her level of courage and resilience, and her fight for human rights is extraordinary for me."
||SOUNDBITE (French) Karim LAHIDJI, Iranian Lawyer and Human Rights activist: "Together with Nasrin Sotoudeh there are 9 more lawyers in prison in Iran. Her lawyer, Abdolfattah Soltani is also in prison. As Mme Sotoudeh, he is also a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, which was closed 4 years ago in Iran. And there are other founding members of the Centre, as Mohammad Seifzadeh and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, all of them lawyers who have been detained for defending prisoners of conscience".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Costa-GAVRAS, filmmaker: "I know Jafar Panahi for a long time. Also at the Cinemateque Française we knew him very well, and we have presented his works. He is a very important film maker, he has received prizes in many festivals. So when we learned first that he would not be able to come to the Cannes festival, that it would be only his empty chair for reasons which appeared to us competently absurd, we were first of all surprised and then we started being worried. After a few months we heard that he was condemned to prison, this was absurd and unique. That means 6 years in prison, 20 years interdiction to make any movie, or to write an anything, or to talk with the media. This is a 'spiritual crime'. In these conditions we started at the Cinematèque a big movement which has been followed by the Cannes festival people, by the French author's society, by the film makers companies, by many personalities worldwide. We all try to make pressure to alleviate his burden, to do something for him."
||SOUNDBITE (French) Costas GAVRAS, Film-maker "What is terrible for him is that he can film anymore. He just made a film intituled "This is not a movie" and he did it in his own place, hidden, and that might be very dangerous for him, because this film was presented internationally. And it is a very nice movie, a unique one in the world today's cinema. So he is a man in prison, not a jail, but at home, imprisoned interiorly somehow, and this is completely unacceptable for an artist, like for any other person in fact. We can not put people in prison because they criticized their government or their system".