Aleksandar Obradovic, a whistleblower from Serbia's western Valjevo town, was awarded by the House for Human Rights, for fighting for the public right to know how taxpayers money was spent and how a company important for the state safety worked, the Beta news agency reported on Tuesday.
Obradovic is still under house arrest, and his wife Katarina received the award on his behalf.
She read Obradovic's message. "Human Rights are the foundation of democracy, but in Serbia, it's only a word," he wrote.
Obradovic discovered shady arms trade deals in Serbia's Krusik ammunition factory where he worked, saying he had proof that top state officials were involved or aware of the contracts that were signed to benefit private firms and at the expense of the state-owned Krusik.
He was arrested at his workplace, put under house arrest, then imprisoned and after the public outcry was again put under the house arrest. His ordela lasts for almost three months. Obradovic is suspected of revealing business secrets, but his lawyer said there was no shred of evidence.
"When the institutions become the hostage of private interests, they are the most dangerous threat and strictest punishment. That is the worst obstacle to the protection of human rights. A that is what Obradovic is facing," the award explanation said.
Besides Obradovic, the House for Human Rights awarded the Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and Environmental Protection (RERI) and Marija Ratkovic for contributing to the raising awareness of cervical cancer.