We are delighted to announce that on February 6th, PBI was awarded the Gernika Peace and Reconciliation Prize 2020 by the Gernika-Lumo Town Council, ‘for the outstanding work of the volunteers and their great commitment to the defence of human rights, peace and justice in the world’.
Gernika has been remembered as the site of the first aerial bombings by the Luftwaffe in 1937, an "experiment" for the blitzkrieg tactics and bombing of civilians seen in later wars. Since then, it has become a symbol for pacifism and a source of inspiration for artists and peace builders, most famously as in Pablo Picasso’s eponymous masterpiece.
The historic significance of Gernika and the award truly honour our four decades of work in support of non-violence. We want to thank all of our donors, supporters, volunteers and staff members, past and present. But above all, we want to thank every human rights defender on the front line of the struggle for global justice. We cannot strive towards peace in this world without due attention to human rights, and the activists we have supported over the years have moved mountains to defend them.
The Town Council cited the history of PBI as one reason for its nomination, including our work in Guatemala, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, North America, East Timor, Haiti, and Nicaragua. They recounted awards celebrating the achievements of previous generations, including the Martin Ennals Award (1999), the Commemorative Medal de la Paz (1999), the Aachen Peace Prize (1999), and Peace and Solidarity Memorial of the People (1995).
The award will be presented in Gernika on April 26th to commemorate the 83rd anniversary of the bombing. Read about last year's winners here.