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Democracy Defenders Award



On February 24 2016 Denmark and 16 other missions to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe gathered to honor a Ukrainian activist with the presentation of the Democracy Defender Award.  The awardee, Oleksandra Matviychuk, has been an active campaigner for democratic reforms in her home country of Ukraine.  Zhanna Nemtsova, the eldest daughter of assassinated Russian activist Boris Nemtsov, introduced the awardee at a ceremony held at Schwedenhaus in Vienna, Austria.

The Democracy Defender Award is an initiative of the OSCE delegations of Canada, Denmark, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, together with the OSCE delegations of Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

The Democracy Defender Award honors a person or group for exceptional contributions to the promotion of democracy and the defense of human rights in the spirit of Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE principles and commitments.

The ceremony was preceded by a panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for democracy in the OSCE region featuring Dr. Pavol Demes, Mr. Oleg Kozlovsky, and Mrs. Lotte Leicht moderated by Mrs. Brigitte Dufour.