Slovenia’s rights activist hails EU award for Darfur lawyer
"Thank you mother Europe, for looking back on grandmother Africa," Kriznar said at the presentation of the EUR 50,000 worth prize, which will be conferred upon Osman at the European Parliament’s December session, the Slovenian news agency reported.
Osman has been offering free legal assistance for victims of the Sudanese regime for over two decades. Kriznar said that although he never met Osman, he might have not gotten out of the Sudanese prison last year without the help of his people.
Tomo Kriznar was held in prison in Darfur for illegal enetrence to the country from July to September 2006. he also the former special envoy of President Janez Drnovsek to Sudan’s region of Darfur.
According to Natasa Mencin Gorsek of the European Parliament’s information office in Ljubljana, the parliament wants to acknowledge Osman’s work, which has made him the voice of Darfur.
The prize is also a way of combating the situation in Darfur and everything going on in the world that needs international attention, Mencin Gorsek added.
"Darfur is the first ecological conflict of the new millennium," since the war there is fought over diminishing drinking water reserves, Kriznar said.
He added that sooner or later, Europe would face a wave of refugees from the region.
He stressed that some 30 millions of refugees fled the sub-Saharan Africa because the rainfall has been halved over the past few decades. Kriznar blames the crisis on developed countries, who he believes should finally take the responsibility.
Mencin Gorisek stressed that the Slovenian presidency could be successful in this respect, while Kriznar offered his help. He also said that Slovenia was preparing a special project for the presidency, however, he did not reveal any details.
To honour Osman’s work, an exhibition of photographs from Darfur entitled "Vzorci sveta" (Patterns of the World) by Pepi Sekulic opened at the Europe House in Ljubljana and will run until 21 December.
Friday 23 November 2007 08:51