NEWSLETTER 09/10                                                         HAMBURGER STIFTUNG
                                                                                             für politisch Verfolgte

                     from El Salvador
                                             ces, violation of human rights and cor-
                                             ruption. This has led to the journalist
                                             receiving a threat to her life.

                                             The ‘Sievershäuser Ermutigung’
                                             peace prize is awarded by the
                                             Documentation Centre for Warfare
                                             and Peace in Sievershausen. This year
                                             the prize was offered to individuals or    My friends, or better said: My dear
                                             single initiatives, who through inde-      family!
                                             pendent, risky journalism often sus-
                                             ceptible to bribery, have excelled in      The time for my departure, for my
                                             peace and human rights issues.             return, has arrived. I must confess, my
                                                                                        emotions are mixed, as if two hearts
                                             “In awarding this prize to María Isabel    were beating within my breast. One
                                             Gámez, the jury are distinguishing an
Photo: María Isabel Gámez                                                               heart is beating fast, because I know
                                             individual who addressed these the-
Since the end of April, 27 year old          mes in her journalism in an exemplary      that I am returning home, to my family,
radio journalist Maria Isabel Gámez          and responsible manner. Her com-           to my friends, to my people. The other is
and her son Jimmy have been                  mitment to impartial reporting and her     distressed and sad, because I am leaving
guests of the Hamburg Foundation             acceptance of the considerable per-        a wonderful country of remarkable
for Politically Persecuted People.           sonal risk and disadvantages involved      people, full of warmth and who have
This year she has been honoured              should be recognised, supported            treated me as an equal, that is to say, as
with the ‘Sievershäuser Ermutigung’          and, through this prize, rewarded.         one of their own.
peace prize for her courageous
work.                                        In María Isabel Gámez the jury has
                                                                                        I am happy, because I am returning to
                                             consciously selected a young journa-
María Isabel Gámez has worked for            list, who has embraced and mastered        my native country and to the people who
‘Radio Victoria’ in the Cabañas              this job and in doing so demonstrated      I love and who give me the strength to
department in El Salvador since she          a high level of journalistic competence    carry on. But I am also sad, because in
was 13. She made a name for herself          and commitment to peace.” (Jury’s          parting, I am leaving behind a big fami-
as a gutsy and determined journalist,        statement).                                ly in Germany, one that not only opened
leading her to her position as head of                                                  the doors of its homes to me, but also of
the radio station’s news team. In the        As a grant holder of the Hamburg
                                                                                        its hearts.
northern hills of El Salvador, Radio         Foundation for Politically Persecuted
Victoria also serves as a training           People, María Isabel Gámez can
school for young people who would            enjoy the feeling of personal safety for   I was able to live a dream which I had
otherwise have no access to school.          the first time in years. The fact that     never imagined; I could touch history,
María Isabel Gámez has herself been          she can now accompany her son to           extend my knowledge. I would like tsay
training young people in journalism          swimming lessons and to the park wit-      to you, that in my whole life I could
since 2007. She has reported on              hout any danger is for Isabel a dream      never repay this kindness, this tender-
many risky topics for her radio pro-         come true. We would like to offer our      ness, and all this protection which has
gramme, including environmental              heartfelt thanks to Hella Langer, the      allowed me to trust again and to find the
crime in coal mining, social grievan-        sponsor of this grant.
                                                                                        right way.

   INFORMATION ON EL SALVADOR                                                                       Pedro Matías,
                                                                                           Journalist from Oaxaca/Mexico,
   Extreme violence, gang crime and          during the years of armed conflict (1980            Grant holder from
   corruption threaten the security of El    -1992) remain uncompensated for.                  June 2009 June, 2010
   Salvador’s 6.2 million inhabitants. The   The General Amnesty Law of 1993
   violations on human rights carried out    remains in force. (Source: AI)
  DR. LEYLA YUNUSOVA - Institute Director
                                                                                            FORMER GUESTS
                     from Azerbaijan

                                                                                           Jahangir Akash from Bangladesh,
                                              The background to the campaign is a          journalist and former guest of the
                                              hijacking case in 2008, which led to         Hamburg Foundation until April
                                              no conviction. In an interview, Dr.          2010, is now living with his family in
                                              Yunusova compared the methods of             Graz.
                                              the police in Azerbaijan with those in       The International House of Authors
                                              Mexico and Nigeria. This led to her          in Graz awarded the journalist a one
                                              being accused of offending the               year continuation grant in May 2010.
                                              government and causing moral dama-
                                              ge to the country. The Minister of the
                                              Interior filed an action for slander
                                              against her, but later withdrew it. In
                                              spite of many threats, Dr. Leyla
                                              Yunosova presented a report at a con-
                                              ference on 19 May 2010 on nationwi-
Photo: Dr. Leyla Yunusova                     de torture practices in Azerbaijan bet-
                                              ween 2006 and 2009. She published
Dr. Leyla Yunusova is a founder and           a list of 32 torture victims, commen-
leader of the "Institute for Peace and        ting that there were many more for
Democracy" in Baku. She has been              which she didn't have any information.
working as a human rights activist in         According to "Human Rights Watch"           Photo: : Jahangir Akash
Azerbaijan for 20 years and is a              the Baku government has arrested
strong critic of the judicial system.         and terrorised countless journalists
She and her husband, Arif, are ta-            and human rights activists in the past
king a six month break in Hamburg             two years. Anyone who criticizes the
from their stressful work.                    government risks being arrested.
                                                                                                  FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN
                                                                                               Christoph Ahlhaus, Hamburg City Mayor
In summer 2009 the government                 Leyla and Arif like to spend their time
                                                                                                 CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
began an intimidation campaign                in Hamburg taking long walks in the                   Dr. Klaus von Dohnanyi
aimed at Dr. Leyla Yusunova, her rela-        parks or attending concerts.                         BOARD OF DIRECTORS
tives and her employees. The cam-                                                                 Elisabeth Lingner, Ocke Rickertsen
                                                                                                      Antje Möller, Doris André,
paign ranged from slander in the              We would like to give our heartfelt                      Prof. Dr. Ulrich Karpen
government press to anonymous                 thanks to Christoph Rinser, who has                   MANAGING DIRECTOR
death threats.                                made this grant possible.                                 Martina Bäurle

                                                                                        The Board of the Hamburg Foundation for the Politically
    AWARDS                                                                                   Persecuted would like to thank its sponsors:

                                                                                              Hamburg Senate · Luise Rinser-Foundation
    PEDRO MATÍAS, Mexiko                      TAMARA CHIKUNOVA, Usbekistan                Christoph Rinser · Prof. Dr. Jan Philipp Reemtsma
    Prize for Freedom of Opinion and Press,   National Order of the French Legion of         Ocke and Sven Rickertsen · Matthias Bartels
                                                                                           Werner Zapf · Hella & Dr. Hans-Joachim Langer
    from the Johann Philipp Palm Foundation   Honour                                     Defend-the-Defenders · Journalists-helping-Journalists
                                                                                        Körber-Foundation · Der Spiegel · Hamburger Sparkasse
    The award ceremony will take place on     The award ceremony took place at the       Isabel Fuchs · Heidi Heinzerling · Heidi Höstermann
    7 December 2010 in Schorndorff. The       Department for Foreign Affairs in Paris     Reinart & Wilke Grütter · Diakonisches Werk EKD
    Honorary speech will be held by the       on 10 May 2010.                                          Foundation Civil Courage,
    Director of the Hamburg Foundation,                                                           Hans and Christiane von Dohnanyi
    Martina Bäurle.                                                                         Department for Foreign Affairs · Nancy Isenson
                                                                                                   ...and many private individuals.

    MARÍA ISABEL GÁMEZ, El Salvador                                                         DONATIONS ACCOUNT
    Peace Prize “Sievershäuser Ermuti-
    gung“ 2010.                                                                                     Hamburger Sparkasse
                                                                                                    Sort code: 200 505 50

    The award ceremony will take place on                                                       Account number: 1022 250 359
    12 December 2010 at 4pm in the peace                                                    Hamburger Stiftung für politisch Verfolgte
    centre “Antrikriegshaus” in Sievers-                                                (Hamburg Foundation for the Politically Persecuted)
    hausen. The honorary speech will be                                                      Osterbekstr. 96, 22083 Hamburg, Germany
    held by Journalist Dr. Johannes from                                                Phone: +49 (0)40 42863 5757, Fax: +49 (0)40 42863 5756
    Dohnanyi.                                 Photo: Tamara Chikunova

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