Mustafa Dzhemilev awarded Poland’s Solidarity Prize
Mustafa Dzhemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatars has become the first laureate of Poland’s Solidarity Award. Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski announced the award on Wednesday, saying that the decision had been reached unanimously. The award will be handed to Mustafa Dzhemilev by President Bronisław Komorowski in Warsaw on June 3.
Sikorski spoke of Dzhemilev’s commitment over years to defending democracy in Ukraine and especially the rights of the Crimean Tatars. He had spent 15 years in the Soviet labour camps and had recently been banned entry to the Crimea. Sikorski called him the defender of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and somebody who, together with his people, has demonstrated that democracy is possibly in societies with Muslim traditions.
The Solidarity Prize has been initiated to mark the twenty fifth anniversary of free elections in Poland. Mustafa Dzhemilev will receive 250 thousand EUR personally, with another 50 thousand for a visit to Poland to “learn about our successful struggle for freedom.” The remaining 700 thousand EUR will be spent on development assistance projects.
From a report at Gazeta Wyborcza
Please see the following to understand why the award could not be more timely: