• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


  • NEWS

  • 19 December 2012

    “Freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorship,” said Minister Radosław Sikorski quoting the words of Andrei Sakharov, during a ceremony awarding the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland’s Pro Dignitate Humana Prize (For Human Dignity) in MFA Headquarters on 19 December 2012.

    This year’s Prize winner is Memorial, the Russian International Historical and Education, Charity and Human Rights Defence Society.



    The fact that Memorial was awarded this prize is proof of the appreciation by Polish diplomacy of the full of sacrifice and uncompromising actions in defence of people who are persecuted and repressed. It also honours the unwavering attitude of searching for historical truth, protecting individual rights and respecting human dignity.



    “Your work represents the foundations of our civilisation,” said Minister Radosław Sikorski in expressing his highest esteem for the efforts of the prize winners. “The Memorial Society needs no introduction in Poland (...) for us, Poles, Memorial is a synonym of indefatigable pursuit of truth, against many odds, but with priceless results.”



    In accepting the prize on behalf of the Memorial Society, Arseny Roginsky emphasised its special significance for the Society as it was awarded by a state institution. He noted that Memorial works to restore people’s right to their names, to a symbolic return to our contemporary life: when it  looks into the histories of terror and state-authorised violence victims, it does it not only for the sake of remembrance, but also of human dignity. Arseny Roginsky explained that Memorial primarily defends the right to life and freedom.



    Memorial is an independent organisation engaged in documenting communist-period repressions and human rights protection in Russia. It has 60 regional branch offices in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and Latvia, as well as in Germany, Italy and France. In 2005, a Polish Commission was set up as part of Memorial that does research on Polish victims of Soviet-era repressions. A Human Rights Defence Centre operates in the Moscow branch office of Memorial.


    The Pro Dignitate Humana Prize was established by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski in 2011. The prize was first awarded to a Belarusian oppositionist and human rights defender, Aleksander Bialacki.



    Marcin Bosacki

    Press Spokesman

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