I sent this letter to the Human Rights Foundation. They organize the Oslo Freedom Forum, which gave the 2022 Havel Prize to Marina Ovsyannikova.
I am absolutely certain that President Vaclav Havel would have been absolutely appalled by your choice of Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova as this year’s fellow. That you classify her as “Ukrainian born Russian journalist and activist” adds even more insult to injury. What difference does it make that she was born in Ukraine? She has faithfully served Russian state media for 15 years — 15 years! Fifteen years of propaganda work and you’ve elevated her to this honor because she held up a sign on state TV. Sorry HRF, holding up one sign does not an activist make. Why not honor any of the seven journalists that were killed in this savage Russian war? Why not honor the photographers who barely got out of Mariupol alive because they wanted to document as much of the Russian destruction as possible, at horrific risk to their own lives?
You recognize and honor a person who helped to make this brutal war against Ukraine possible. You do not deserve to call yourself a human rights organization. All I can say is shame on you.
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