Andrei Sakharov’s human rights legacy

Strasbourg, 15/12/10  – The book “Andrei Sakharov and human rights” sets out to capture the significance of Sakharov for Europe today. Released today by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, the book contains selected Sakharov’s writings which have a deeper significance for human rights and the fight for a peaceful and just world.

“Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, the eminent Russian physicist and Nobel peace laureate, was a leading human rights activist in the Soviet Union, and a visionary thinker on world affairs. His principled messages contributed to the non-violent, revolutionary changes of 1989, and continue to influence work in favour of justice and human rights today” said Commissioner Hammarberg in launching the book.

“Much has changed in the two decades since his death, but many problems Sakharov confronted remain: unaccountable regimes and institutions; politicised trials; inhumane prison conditions; the retention of the death penalty; curbs on freedoms of association and assembly; denial of freedom of expression and the free exchange of information and ideas; and the suppression of those who speak out.”

The presentation speech made in Oslo in December 1975, when Sakharov received the Nobel Peace Prize, forms the introduction both to Sakharov and to the publication. Subsequent sections draw from Sakharov’s writings cast light on his vision, ideas and actions to defend human rights. The publication ends with tributes to Sakharov, which enrich our understanding of this remarkable man, of his courage, and of his efforts to bring about a more humane world.

To order the book, please click here.

Andrei Sakharov and Human Rights
Council of Europe Publishing
170 pages, € 19 / US$ 38
ISBN 978-92-871-6947-1

Press contact in the Commissioner’s Office:
Stefano Montanari, +33 (0)6 61 14 70 37;

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