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Group refuses to rescind Quadriga award to Putin

The Local · 12 Jul 2011, 17:32

Published: 12 Jul 2011 17:32 GMT+02:00

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The annual prize, set to be awarded in October, is supposed to recognize "role models for enlightenment, dedication and the public good." But critics have said Putin – known for suppressing the press and curtailing civil rights in Russia – doesn't qualify.

Cem Özdemir, the head of Germany's Green party, said he was stepping down from the board of the non-profit Netzwerks Quadriga, which awards the prize, in protest of the decision.

"In my view, the Quadriga prize should go to people who have done a particular service to democracy and its promotion," he said in a statement. "I do not see Vladimir Putin among those ranks."

Putin is supposedly receiving the award in part because of progress he’s made in improving relations between Russia and Germany, the board said, adding that this “is one of the great achievements of Vladimir Putin.”

But many German politicians have charged that his human rights record makes him an unacceptable candidate.

“During his tenure as head of state and prime minister, Putin has dismantled democracy, restricted freedom, undermined the rule of law and given Russia corruption,” Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning told the website of Der Spiegel.

Erika Steinbach, a Bundestag member with the centre-right Christian Democratic Union added: “During his presidency, human rights were and are being systematically violated.”

She said the prize’s value could only be saved if it was not awarded to Putin.

Putin worked as a KGB agent in the eastern German city of Dresden in the 1980s and speaks fluent German.

Story continues below…

After becoming president in 2000, he cultivated close ties with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who now works for Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Previous winners include UK musician Peter Gabriel, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and former Czech dissident and President Vaclav Havel.

DAPD/AFP/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:40 July 12, 2011 by twisted
Gotta keep the gas flowing.
18:27 July 12, 2011 by Englishted
After becoming president in 2000, he cultivated close ties with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who now works for Russian energy giant Gazprom.

You can't trust any of the greedy baskets.

Why did Peter Gabriel win? are the price gives on something?
18:27 July 12, 2011 by lunchbreak
Yes, the gas from their rear ends.
22:40 July 12, 2011 by bernie1927
Regardless how you feel about Mr. Putin, it would be an inexcusable insult to reverse this action at this late date. From the above remarks I realize, that common courtesy has gone by the wayside but hopefully, some people will come forward and prove that good manners are still alive and well. So, bite the bullet and show some class.
00:15 July 13, 2011 by whpmgr
If they gave Yassar Arafat a Nobel, what is the difference. I think this is more of a political choice than a strong moral one. This was done to complete some sort of agenda and for nothing else. There are many people in the world that feel that the Soviet Union's system (the old UdSSR) was the best system. When dealing with Ideologies, common sense and what is right or wrong from a world view goes out the window. Anyone that takes it back (the prize I mean) is taking their own life in their hands. Vladimir is not a forgiving guy. So, in the big scheme of things, what is the big deal. You have a prize that most of the world have never heard of being given to a man that most of the world fears or at least respects.
05:52 July 13, 2011 by hanskarl
But they only list three reasons and it is the "Quadriga" so what is the fourth reason/// Any guesses??? I have a few.............
08:37 July 13, 2011 by harcourt
The world has seen some of his photo-shots (bizarre) the man obviously has a problem, an inferiority complex I guess. So since he just loves his ego being massaged I expect Germany will get something out of this exercise, quite what one doesn't know!!
09:32 July 13, 2011 by freechoice
can you find his biceps doing some fishing on the internet.
09:34 July 13, 2011 by adipk
If Obama gets Nobel prize for nothing than why not Putin?

Until now any success or something which is notable for peace from Obama Side?
09:39 July 13, 2011 by freechoice
i supposed the Arab worlds are having just a facebook party?
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