On May 21, members of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom Board of Trustees will hold their very first meeting to decide who will get Boris Nemtsov Prize awarded for exceptional personal courage and commitment to promoting democratic values in Russia.
Five nominees who have got the majority of your votes are Ildar Dadin, Lev Shlosberg, Victor Shenderovich, Alexey Navalny and Nadezhda Savchenko. We would like to thank all the participants of our online public voting.
This voting gave us one more opportunity to talk about the people who were nominated for this award, about their actions and achievements. And just to name them.
No doubt, most of them are worthy and have the quality that is absolutely necessary to uphold democratic principles and European values in modern Russia. This quality is courage. My father also had courage.
You had 2 months to nominate your candidates at https://nemtsovfund.org. As a result we got the list of 46 nominees. They are different people, who live and work in different conditions. During the online public voting held on Novaya Gazeta website we received quite a few sharp rebukes. People were asking: “Why did you allow nomination of those who are not in prison alongside political prisoners? Why is the voting open?”. This criticism is not groundless, however I want to remind you that the list of nominees was not put together by me or by the Board of Trustees – it was put together by our website visitors.
Of course, the Board of Trustees could have selected the Prize winner behind closed doors. And I find it most significant that we preferred an open procedure to behind-the-scene arrangements.
Unfortunately, in today’s Russia promotion of democratic values can result in imprisonment. Still, there are brave people who courageously stand up for human rights. Is it their fault that they have not been taken into custody yet? Should not we give them our support? And it is absolutely true that choosing only one among several political prisoners is next to impossible. But there are no perfect solutions or perfect procedures.
I would like to express my huge gratitude to Novaya Gazeta for giving us the opportunity to conduct online voting and providing technical support.
Boris Nemtsov Prize Award Ceremony will be held on June 12 – Russia’s Independence Day.
Zhanna Nemtsova, Novaya Gazeta.