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) 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.

Thierry Philipponat (France)

... 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

the public....

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) 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) 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

wounded in an ambush.


Natalio Alberto Nisman (Argentina, 1963 – 2015)

... 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 Personalities Do you know them?  
IPA Institute for Political Analysis Prof. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz
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