Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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Civil Courage

Fourth June Elegies

Every year Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, imprisioned  for his pro-democratic activism, has written a poem in honour of the victims of The June 4th 1989 student demonstrations in Tiananmen square. 


Nazis against Christmas carols

Julius Goslar refused to "clean" Christmas songs from Jewish words. He engaged in a moral and cultural battle against the regime and his own co-citizens and he was put on forced labour. It took until 1969 for him to be honoured by the Federal Republic of Germany.


Ragip Zarakoglu honoured in Switzerland

On 20 November, a special evening will be held in Geneva in honour of the many journalists and writers imprisoned in Turkey merely for expressing their thoughts. Guest star is writer, publisher and Gariwo friend Ragip Zarakoglu, who has devoted his life to exposing the truth about the Armenian genocide.


Burmese leader praises Aung San Suu Kyi

The champion of democracy in Myanmar who has recently been elected to the Parliament after decades under arrest for her civic struggle received a public praise from her former persecutor at the UN Assembly. Progress is fragile, but it could prove stable as well. 


"The Righteous will help Bosnia"

The Chairwoman of Gariwo Sarajevo and author of books about the "good people in an evil time" and the subject of civil courage Svetlana Broz outlines the importance of the European Day of the Righteous for Bosnia and the Balkan regions. 


The bravest theatre on earth - Belarus Free Theatre in London

Jude Law, Ian McKellen and Sam West guest stars in these two plays - Discover Love and Numbers - from the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre, staged as a campaign to highlight the current terrible state of free expression in the company's home country.


Civil courage

the strength of human dignity

Genocide cases and extreme circumstances of human rights violations, persecutions and deprivation of freedom have occurred all over the world. Those who find the courage to oppose, safeguard their own moral integrity, assessing the duty of truth, reporting the crimes against humanity and struggling to defend the founding value of civil coexistence can be defined as Righteous peopleJournalists like Sihem Bensedrine in Tunisia and writers like Gao Xingjian in China, diplomats like Enrico Calamai in Argentina and artists like Sunila Abeysekera in Sri Lanka, students like Bo Kyi in Burma and (union) activists or politicians like Maria Elena Moyano in Peru, Guillermo Chen in Guatemala, Fannie Lou Hamer in the USA, scientists, lawyers, doctors, intellectuals like Vassili Nesterenko in Belarus, Sylvie Maunga Mbanga in Congo, Halima Bashir in Darfur, Hashem Aghajari in Iran. Not to forget the prominent female figures advocating the rights of women trampled on in many world areas, like Betty Makoni in Zimbawe, Hawa Aden Mohamed in Somalia,  Khalida Toumi Messaoudi in Algeria,  Lydia Chaco in Mexico.
As well as the best-known advocates of human and civil rights like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, Anna Politkovskaja in Russia, Orhan Pamuk in Turkey, Natasha Kandic in Serbia and Svetlana Broz in Bosnia, Ayaan Hirsi Ali from Somalia, the mothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. 

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Mehrangiz Kar

lawyer, writer, lecturer at Harvard University