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Freedom Magazine Honors Top European Humanitarians

Freedom Magazine Honors Top European Humanitarians

(PRWEB) May 10, 2005

Calling upon religious leaders and media organizations to focus on human rights and freedoms, the editors of the Church of Scientology International’s Freedom magazine presented their 2005 European Human Rights Leadership Award to three individuals who have excelled in their contributions to tolerance and understanding in Europe.

Diplomats, religious representatives, human rights activists and artists including Master of Ceremonies Cyprien Katsaris an international French-Cypriot pianist, composer and UNESCO Artist for Peace attended the ceremony at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

The first awardee was Mr J.L. Janssen van Raay who served as a member of the Committee of Development and Cooperation, and the Delegation for Relations with South-East Asia of the European Parliament.

Dr. Dimitrina Petrova, the founder and Executive Director of the European Roma Rights Center, an international human rights organization based in Budapest, Hungary, accepted her Freedom Magazine Award with the following words, “I take this award to signify solidarity with the values and principles by which I have worked for human rights. It is very important that people from other denominations accept human rights as the universal moral and legal code of our time, a code compatible with a variety of belief systems.” She continued, “By making human rights, freedom and equality central in its message and its practical efforts, the Church of Scientology has provided a positive example for other religions and faith-based organizations.”

Awardee Professor Mikhail Ivanovich Odintsov, Chief of the Department for Cooperation with Social and Religious Associations at the Office of the Ombudsman on Human Rights of the Russian Federation, stressed the importance of staying alert for human rights violations and infringements upon religious freedom. “In my opinion, it is very important that ideals of religious freedom, the relentless fight for them and crucial victories be reported on in the media. In this way the work of independent media, such as Freedom Magazine is vital in advancing human rights in Russia”, said Prof. Odintsov.

Freedom’s Chief Editor for Europe, Martin Weightman stated: “Whilst the correction of human rights abuses has been our primary focus, we also cover the solutions to social ills. We spotlight social betterment activities and programs, showing how they improve society and elevate the culture.”

He added, “These awardees have worked at the vanguard of human rights advocacy or have come to our notice for their exceptional contributions as human rights leaders.

“Humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard stated, ‘Human Rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.’ We, at Freedom magazine consider it important to honor those who are working to make this a reality.” Weightman said.

The Church of Scientology first published Freedom magazine in 1968. With editions in 20 countries, Freedom has served as a voice of honesty and truth. Since 1988 the American edition of Freedom magazine has recognized prominent human rights advocates with its Human Rights Leadership Award. This year, in recognition of men and women who set an example for human rights leadership on this continent, the Freedom editors in Brussels instituted this annual award for Europe – the beginning of a new tradition.


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