Jon Stewart(USA, * 1962)... is a comedian, writer, producer, director, actor, media critic, and television host. He was host of the Daily Show, a satirical news program that aired from 1999 to 2015. In spite of its satirical character the show has developed to an influential institution of investigative journalism. Particularly during the presidency of George W. Bush (2001 - 2009) Stewart’s show was considered the only trust worthy television mission of significance - a fool speaking the truth. Tonico Benitez (Brazil)... is an anthropogist and representative of the native Guarani Indians in Brazil. In striking contrast to the governmental pledge of allowing the biggest native tribe in Brazil to go back to its native area, the people are still dismissed - living under highway bridges and in overfilled reservates.
Iryna Khalip (Belarus, *1967)
...is a journalist, reporter and editor in the Minsk bureau of
Novaya Gazeta, known for her criticism of Belarusian President
Alexander Lukashenko. For her journalistic activities she has
been regularly harassed, detained, and beaten by the
Belarusian KGB and authorities. In May 2011, she was given a
two-year suspended prison sentence for her role in protests
following the 2010 Belarus election.
... represented Finance Watch as first secretary general, a
European non-governmental organization, set up in 2011
as a counterbalance to the financial lobby. Its mission is
to strengthen the voice of society in the reform of
financial regulation by conducting advocacy and
presenting public interest arguments to lawmakers and
Rosi Orozco (Mexico)
... works to recover and to successfully reintegrate victims who
have suffered from sexual exploitation, forced labour, begging,
humiliation, forced marriages and trafficking in organs, with
specific reference to children. She was the main driver of the
Mexican law initiative to prevent, punish and eradicate the
offenses on trafficking in persons and to protect and assist the
victims of these crimes. This initiative subsequently became
law in Mexico.
Julian Paul Assange (Australia, * 1971)
... is a publisher and journalist, known as the editor-in-chief of
the website WikiLeaks, which he co-founded in 2006. In 2010
WikiLeaks published U.S. military and diplomatic documents
leaked by Chelsea Manning. Assange has been under
investigation in the United States since that time. Since 2012,
facing extradition to Sweden because he was alleged to have
committed sexual offense, he has taken refuge at the Embassy
of Ecuador in London.
Carla Rocha (Brasil)
... is an investigative journalist in Rio de Janeiro, fighting fir
human rights of slum-dwellers. Investigated under peril of her
life and got a price by Transparency International.
Mitu Khurana (India, *1980)
... pediatrist, gave birth to her twin-daughters, today seven
years old, against the strict will of her husband and her mother-
in-law. They tried to force her to abortion only because of the
wrong sex of the embryos. Against this she has been the first
women in India to denounce her husband of attempted
murder. The trial is to go on for years.
Dennis Banks (USA, * 1937)
... co-founded the American Indian Movement in 1968,
spearheaded the movement on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
in South Dakota in 1973 to oust the corrupt government-
appointed chairman. Banks was the leader of the Wounded
Knee forces. He was arrested, went underground, organized a
small armed group and received amnesty in California,
supported by sympathizers, such as Marlon Brando.
Margrit Herbst (Germany, *1940)
... a communal doctor of veterinary medicin in a German
slaughterhouse, ascertained 21 cases of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE). After her complains had been dropped
by her bosses and the ill cattles had been given free for
consumption, she publicly announced the cases in 1994. She
was dismissed because of having broken her confidentiality and
did not find a new job. An initiative of rehabilitation for the
meanwhile 74 years old woman in Bad Segeberg county council
failed so far.
lham Tohti (Uyghur/China, *1969)
... is an economist serving a life sentence in China, on
separatism-related charges.He is known for his research on
Uyghur-Han relations and is a vocal advocate for the
implementation of regional autonomy laws in China, host of
Uyghur Online, a website that discusses Uyghur issues.
Dianne Feinstein (USA, * 1933)
the senior United States Senator from California, defended the
extension of the Patriot Act and practices of CIA and NBA for
long. Meanwhile she is supposed to be the most important
critic of the CIA regarding the brutal interrogation (that is
torturing) program - concealing details about the severity of its
methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners.
Massana Bathily (Mali, *1990)
...a Muslim worker at a Paris kosher shop, hid a group of
shoppers, one with a baby, in a basement cold storage room at
the Hyper Cacher supermarket to shield them from the islamist
gunman on January 8, 2015. He risked his own life to save other
people against a terroristic attack.
José Alberto Mujica Cordano (Uruquay, * 1935)
..., called El Pepe, a former urban guerrilla fighter with the
Tupamaros, was President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2014. He
has been described as the world's 'humblest' president, due to
his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of
his $12,000 (£7,500) monthly salary to charities that benefit
poor people and small entrepreneurs.
Samir Badawi (Saudi-Arabia, *1984)
... is the creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals. He was
arrested In 2012 on a charge of insulting Islam through
electronic channels and brought to court on several charges
including apostasy. He was sentenced to seven years in prison
and 600 lashes in 2013, then resentenced to 1000 lashes and
ten years in prison plus a fine in 2014. The lashes are to be
carried out over 20 weeks.
Verena Bentele (Germany, *1982)
...is a blind cross-country skier and bi-athlete. Despite having
suffered a serious accident in 2009 (loosing one kidney), she
had her best Olympic result, winning 5 Gold Medals in the 2010
Vancouver Paralympics. Since January 2014 she works as
disabilities representative of the German Federal government.
Ekrem Dumanlı (Turkey, * 1964 in Yozgat)
... the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Zaman, stands for free
media in Turkey. On 14 December 2014 Turkish police arrested
him together with other senior journalists and media
executives on charges of forming, leading and being a member
of an armed terrorist organization. On 19 December 2014 a
court ordered that he had to be released due to lack of
Ales Bjaljazki (Belarus, *1962)
...in 1996, founded the human rights organisation Wjasna
(spring) in order to financially and juridically support political
prisoners in Belarus. In October 2011 he was sentenced to 4,5
years prison because of alledged tax dodging. In June 2014 he
was released from prison after 1052 days of arbitrary detention
in harsh conditions, including serving periods of solitary
Richard von Weizsäcker (Germany 1920 - 2015)
...a German politician (CDU), was the President of West
Germany from 1984 to 1990, and then the president of
reunited Germany from 1990 to 1994. He obtained
international recognition by his speech held on May 8, 1985,
wherein he explicitely denoted Germany’s defeat in World War
II as deliverance from the National Socialist reign of violence.
Furtherly he criticized the current parliamentary parties to look
at coming elections more than at problem-solving.
Sheik Umar Khan (Sierra Leone, 1975 - 2014)
... was the chief doctor attempting to curb the country's Ebola
outbreak in 2014. He was a saviour for his pioneering with
Lassa fever that kills 5.000 people a year. So he knew the risks
better than anybody. But he was working for months in
overcrowded facilities, 18 hours a day, and he succumbed to
the virus himself, 39 years old.
Zekra Alwach (Iraq)
... a civil engineer and former director general of the ministry of
higher education, is the new mayor of Baghdad and the only
female to hold such position in the Arab League. Alwach has a
PhD in civil engineering and is regarded as highly-skilled
technocrat. She reports directly to the Prime Minister, Haider
al-Abadi, and holds the prerogatives of a cabinet minister.
Yaşar Kemal (Turkey, 1923 – 2015)
... a well known writer of Kurdish ethnicity and socialistic ideals,
often did not hesitate to speak on sensitive issues of human
rights. His activism resulted in a twenty-month suspended jail
sentence, on charges of advocating separatism. Awarded with
the Turkish Cultural prize in the presence of prime minister
Erdoğan on December 2008, he uttered his hope that political
steadfastness and the fight for peace and human rights would
no longer a reason for exclusion in Turkey...
Frei Paul Otto (Germany, 1925 – 2015)
... was an architect and structural engineer noted for his use of
lightweight structures, in particular tensile and membrane
structures, including the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich
1972 Summer Olympics.
He preferred easyness and weightlessness in architecture - a
fanal against the lithic Olympic Games of Nazi Berlin 1936. At it
he was troughout interested in trial and error, checking out,
puzzling over something, dearing new options, experiments.
Emmanuel de Merode (Belgium, *1970)
... has been the director of the Virunga National Park, home to
the mountain gorillas, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC) since 2008. He is protecting the resources of the park and
preventing people from accessing those resources - making
himself enemies amongst people living around as well as
amongst oil-producing firms. In April 2014, he was shot and
... was a a federal prosecutor, noted for being the chief
investigator of the 1994 car bombing of the Jewish center in
Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people, the worst terrorist attack
in Argentina's history. Nisman had formally accused the
government of Iran of directing the bombing, and the
Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. Two years later, he accused
President Cristina Kirchner and other politicians of covering up
Iranian suspects in the case. On 19 January 2015, Nisman was
found dead at his home in Buenos Aires.
Regina and Chris Catrambone (Italy/USA)
... are a philanthropist couple that have launched what
they say is the world's first privately funded vessel to help
migrants in trouble at sea. They founded the Migrant Offshore
Aid Station (MOAS), a professional operation designed for
search and rescue in the Mediaterranean See, equipped with
an 18-strong crew including seafarers, rescuers, paramedics
and doctors. What do you think about the operations
coordinated from Malta and about their initiators?
Dr. Alganesc Fessaha (Eritrea/Italy), * 1948)
... regularly travels to Sinai (Egypt) and Libya, where, at great
personal risk and with the help of local power brokers, she
tracks down kidnap victims, gets them released from torture
chambers without paying a ransom, and hands them over to
the UNHCR or other refugee organizations. In the past five
years, she has managed to free 550 refugees from the hands of
traffickers and 2,300 from prisons in the Sinai.
Peter Benenson (Great Britain, 1921 - 2005)
more than a dozen countries.
Shiva Mahbobi (Iran, * 1968)
... is the spokesperson of Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran. Mahbobi was a women’s rights and students’ right activist in Iran, which was deemed by the Islamic regime as ‘being the enemy of God’. Therefore she was arrested, tortured and imprisoned for more than three years at the age of 16. She continued her political activities after being released from prison, but had to leave the country for fear of being arrested and executed.
Great PersonalitiesDo you know them?
IPAInstitute for Political AnalysisProf. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz