Budapestʼs Central European University (CEU) and international network Scholars at Risk have been jointly awarded the 2019 Politiken Freedom Prize for "protecting scholars and the freedom to think, question and share ideas," according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Leading independent Danish newspaper Politiken awards the Freedom Prize yearly to those defending human rights under dangerous circumstances through its Foundation. The other award winner, Scholars at Risk, is an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. The awardees share a prize of 100,000 Danish krone (approximately EUR 13,400).
Michael Ignatieff, president and rector of CEU, and Robert Quinn, founding executive director of Scholars at Risk, received the prize on behalf of their organizations at Politiken’s headquarters in Copenhagen.
Presenting the prize, Politiken Editor-in-Chief Christian Jensen noted that in Europe "it shouldnʼt be necessary to remind a government to appreciate the role of opposition, civil society, media and free academic thinking. But Central European University does indeed remind us of the values of an open society. And the fate of the university reminds us that we should never accept the restriction of academic freedom."
Previous winners of the Politiken Freedom Prize include Russian chess player and democracy advocate Garry Kasparov, the non-profit organization Sea-Watch, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and Egyptian writer and activist Mona Eltahawy.
Recipients are picked by the Politiken Freedom Prize Committee, consisting of Henrik Wegener, rector of the University of Copenhagen; Jonas Christoffersen, director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights; and Politiken’s Christian Jensen, Michael Jarlner (international editor), and Anders Jerichow (senior correspondent).