The Profiles in Courage Award 2000.
For the year 2000 The Kennedy Society of Denmark has decided to present John
F. Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage" to Human Rights champion,
State Duma deputy, Sergej Kovaljov for the reasons:
During more than 30 years at great personal cost Sergej Kovaljov
has contributed in a courageous effort for human rights and for
the principles based on right both for his own and for other people.
This effort has been according to the words of John F. Kennedy in his
inauguration speech as President, 1961 "... that the rights of man come
not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God..." and
" let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."
Human Rights champion Sergej Kovaljov spoke against the invasion
in Czechoslovakia in 1968. He cooperated with Andrei Sakharov for human rights
since late 1960s and for this reason he was expelled from Moscow University.
In 1974 he was sentenced for anti-Soviet propaganda.
In spite of seven years' imprisonment and 3 years in exile he continued his
fight for principles of right and returned to Moscow 1987. Chief of the Russian
Delegation to United Nations Commission on Human Rights 1992-95. Appointed by
President Boris Jeltzin as a representative on Human Rights. In 1994 he appealed
courageously - when he was present during the war in Grozny, Chechnya - for
peace through negotiations. He has said as a warning that if the 21th century
becomes one of nationalism it will cause more wars. He is against a monoethnic
view of life, which puts national and ethnic attitudes above the rights of man.
"In Chechnya Russia is using NATO-methods to achieve Milosovic's goals"
he said in 1999. "Are you ready to pay with your life or, still worse,
with the lives of your wife and sister for the capture or slaying of terrorists?"
he also asked.
This effort is according to Senator Robert F. Kennedy's in his book
"To seek a newer World" 1967: "Even though we must know as a
nation what it is necessary to do, we must also feel as men the anguish of what
we are doing... Guns and bombs cannot fill empty stomachs or educate children,
cannot build homes or heal the sick. But these are the ends for which men establish
and obey governments; they will give their allegiance only to governments that
meet these needs."