BERLIN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over the fall of the Soviet Union, has been awarded the 2009 Europe Music Awards (EMA) Free Your Mind Award.
The award was presented by MTV Networks International CEO/Chairman Bill Roedy to Gorbachev during a private gala dinner hosted by the Cinema for Peace Foundation which took place on the date of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The award is a part of MTV Global's "Free your mind" campaign which aims to focus attention on humanitarian issues and encourage freedom from all kinds of intolerance and prejudice. The Free Your Mind Award is intended for any individual or organisation that embodies the ideals of MTV’s campaign. President Gorbachev received the award in recognition of his contribution to new attitudes and democracy in the Eastern bloc and for bringing about change in Europe.
Previous winners include: Campaigner against street violence, Anton Abele (2007), Aung San Suu Kyi–Burma’s democratically elected leader and Nobel Peace laureate (2003), FARE–Football Against Racism in Europe (2002), TAC–Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) of South Africa, a group doing extraordinary work around HIV/AIDS (2001), OTPOR–a grassroots student pressure movement founded in 1998 to counter Slobodan Milosevic’s oppressive regime (2000), Bono (1999), Serbian Independent Radio Station B92 (1998), The Landmine Survivors’ Network (1997), The Buddies and Carers of Europe (1996), Greenpeace (1995), and Amnesty International (1994).
Also in attendance at the soiree were songwriter and political activist Sir Bob Geldof, singer Placido Domingo and former German Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers