Foreign Minister Brende congratulates Rafto Prize winner

‘I would like to congratulate the Russian human rights association Agora and its chair, Pavel Chikov, as this year’s recipients of the Rafto Prize,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Since it was founded in 2005, Agora has provided legal aid to Russian citizens who have experienced harassment or intimidation by the authorities.

‘The award to Agora and Mr Chikov is an important recognition of the work of human rights defenders at a difficult time. Developments in Russia are worrying, and there is a need for voices that can promote respect for universal human rights and defend the constitutional rights of individuals. A key advocate of human rights, Agora has nevertheless managed to maintain constructive cooperation with the Russian authorities,’ said Mr Brende.
 
Agora is a network of 35 lawyers working to protect the legal rights of individuals who are subject to intimidation by the Russian authorities. Agora seeks to have a constructive dialogue with Russian authorities. Pavel Chikov, the chair of Agora, is a member of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights.
 
The Rafto Prize is awarded annually in commemoration of Professor Thorolf Rafto’s work to help those subject to oppression and persecution. The prize is awarded by the Rafto Foundation