Mustafa Jemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatars, deputy of Ukraine, and President of Ukraine’s Commissioner for the Crimean Tatars, took part in the ceremony of awarding the second Lech Walesa Solidarity Prize, held in Warsaw on August 4, 2015.
This year, the award has been given to Zhanna Nemtsova, daughter of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader, who was shot dead outside the Kremlin this February.
Mustafa Jemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatars, was the first person to be awarded the Lech Walesa Solidarity Prize.
“Boris Nemtsov bravely and courageously opposed the regime that has caused so much grief in my country. I praise Zhanna’s decision to follow in her father’s footsteps and express my sincere congratulations to her,” Mustafa Jemilev said during the award-giving ceremony.
At the ceremony, Zhanna Nemtsova was wearing a blue scarf with a golden Tamga, a symbol of the Crimean Tatars, which is present on their national flag.
During the ceremony, Zhanna Nemtsova asked those in attendance to pay silent tribute to her father, who was a relentless and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Voice of America reports. Members of Russian opposition blame Nemtsov’s death, who was shot dead just outside the Kremlin in late February, on the Russian government.
Zhanna Nemtsova, 31, who left Russia after her father’s murder, expressed hope that the award would inspire other Russians and bolster their conviction that they ‘should go on with their struggle and never give up”.
Nemtsova, who used to work as a TV journalist in Moscow, is now employed at Deutsche Welle, a Berlin-based German broadcasting corporation.
The award winner shall receive a statuette, as well as €1 million in prize money. The Solidarity Prize is comprised of €250,000 assigned for a winner, €700, 000 to be spent for programs determined by the winner and € 50,000 meant to cover a trip to Poland for a winner or persons specified by him/her.
Nemtsova said that she would donate €700,000 to charitable projects in Ukraine.
"We are talking about supporting families of the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred. The money will also be used for repairing schools and purchasing equipment in the regions of Ukraine where a lot of displaced people are currently residing. Besides, the Crimean Tatar TV channel in exile, currently broadcasting from Kyiv, will also receive financial support. The channel represents the beacon for freedom of speech and provides objective news coverage of the situation in Crimea," emphasized Nemtsova.