Members of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom Board of Trustees assembled for their first meeting on May 21 in Berlin. The meeting was attended by 6 out of 7 Board members. In accordance with the Foundation Statute they elected the Chairman of the Board (Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr.) and his Deputy (Julius von Fryetag Loringhoven).
The meeting was summoned to select the first winner of Boris Nemtsov Prize. The Prize is awarded for exceptional personal courage and commitment to promoting democratic values in Russia. The nomination process was launched in March 2016 on Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom website. Over March and April, 46 candidates were nominated for voting.
At the second stage, Novaya Gazeta newspaper organized online public voting on its website. The majority of the votes were given to Ildar Dadin, Lev Shlosberg, Victor Shenderovich, Alexey Navalny and Nadezhda Savchenko. The winner, Lev Shlosberg, was selected by the secret ballot of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation Board of Trustees. He will be awarded Boris Nemtsov Prize on June 12.
Lev Shlosberg is a journalist, an editor and a former deputy of the Pskov Regional Assembly. In 2014, his newspaper ‘Pskovskaya Gubernia’ was the first to publish information on secret funerals of Russian paratroopers killed in Ukraine. Following this publication, Lev Shlosberg was clobbered near his house in Pskov.
Boris Nemtsov spoke in support of Shlosberg. This is what he said: “He (Lev Shlosberg – RFI) was the first to report that paratroopers from Pskov were engaged in military activities against Ukraine, and that the bodies of the first soldiers killed in action were delivered back to Pskov. He just described the secret funerals of two paratroopers in Pskov. That publication was followed by several other articles on the same subject. They were published recently. And I think Putin’s bastards took their revenge on him… It is pure political terror and political terrorism, because he was beaten up for his social activity. Thank God, he survived and his life is not in danger. But he had suffered amnesia, concussion and other injuries. Right now, he is in hospital. This is an act of intimidation not only in relation to Shlosberg, but to all human rights activists, to the opposition at large, and also to all relatives of soldiers engaged in action”.
Shlosberg was stripped of his deputy mandate in 2015 by the decision of United Russia deputies who have an absolute majority in the Pskov Regional Assembly.