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The prize is awarded to individuals who, "through outstanding activities, have contributed to promoting democratic, universal, and humanistic values" ??in the spirit of Gilel Storch (1902-1983)- a Latvian-born entrepreneur whose heroic humanitarian efforts played a significant role in helping to save numerous Jews from the Holocaust.
Judisk Kultur i Sverige, an organization promoting Jewish culture, is responsible for administering the award ceremony. As the recipient of this year’s prize, Adam Michnik has joined a list of distinguished previous laureates including the former German President Joachim Gauck (2018), the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2019), former Prime Minister of Sweden Göran Persson (2020), and the American feminist icon Gloria Steinem (2020).
"Wyborcza’s" editor-in-chief received the award for his "lifelong struggle against oppression". In its justification, the organization mentions his work as a publicist, writer, and activist whose "personal positions, driven by moral integrity, have numerous times proven to conclusively shape political events".
The prize also included SEK 250.000 and a golden sculpture designed by Annie Winblad Jakubowski.
- I am deeply moved by this award that I am receiving here in Stockholm. It supports our choice to stand true to the values of democracy, tolerance, and openness that "Gazeta Wyborcza" represents. And I am glad that the award comes from Sweden, a country whose democracy I admire- said Adam Michnik in an interview with the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
In an interview with Michał Winiarski, he also commented on the ongoing war in Ukraine: - Putin has made a gigantic mistake. He will go down in history as the destroyer of Russia. I don't think he will defeat Ukraine. Ukraine to Putin will be the same as what Afghanistan was for Leonid Brezhnev- Michnik assessed.
Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.
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