Sakharov Prize

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Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
Remise du Prix Sakharov à Aung San Suu Kyi Strasbourg 22 octobre 2013-21.jpg
The awarding ceremony of the 1990 prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi inside the Parliament's Strasbourg hemicycle, in 2013.
Location Strasbourg
Country France
Presented by European Parliament
Reward €50,000[1]
First awarded 1988
Last awarded 2013
Currently held by Malala Yousafzai
Official website Website

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honor individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought.[2] A shortlist of nominees is drawn up by the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Development Committee, with the winner announced in October.[1] As of 2010, the prize is accompanied by a monetary award of €50,000.[1]

The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly Marchenko. The 2013 award was given to Malala Yousafzai. The Prize has also been awarded to organisations, the first being the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (1992).

Some Sakharov Laureates still face harsh political oppression. Laureates living under repressive regimes include the Belarusian Association of Journalists (Belarus, 2004), Damas de Blanco and Guillermo Farinas (Cuba, 2005 and 2010), Alaksandar Milinkievič (Belarus, 2006), Hu Jia (2008), Memorial (Russia, 2009). Razan Zaitouneh (Syria, 2011) is still living in hiding in Syria. Nasrin Sotoudeh (2012, Iran) was released from prison in September 2013, and along with fellow 2012 Laureate Jafar Panahi is still banned from leaving Iran.

Laureates[edit]

Nelson Mandela was the inaugural winner of the prize, together with Anatoly Marchenko.
The awarding ceremony of the 1990 prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi inside the Parliament's Strasbourg hemicycle, in 2013. Suu Kyi could not collect it before as she had been political prisoner for years.
Members of Ladies in White, a 2005 laureate, demonstrate in Havana, Cuba.
Year Recipient Nationality Notes Reference
1988 Mandela, NelsonNelson Mandela South Africa Anti-apartheid activist and later President of South Africa [3]
1988 Marchenko, AnatolyAnatoly Marchenko (posthumously) Soviet Union Soviet dissident, author and human rights activist [3]
1989 Dubček, AlexanderAlexander Dubček Czechoslovakia Slovak politician, attempted to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring [3]
1990 Aung San Suu Kyi Burma Opposition politician and a former General Secretary of the National League for Democracy [4]
1991 Demaçi, AdemAdem Demaçi Kosovo Kosovo Albanian Politician and long-term political prisoner [3]
1992 Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Argentina Association of Argentine mothers whose children disappeared during the Dirty War [4]
1993 Oslobođenje Bosnia and Herzegovina Popular newspaper, continued to publish after its office building was destroyed in Sarajevo [4]
1994 Nasrin, TaslimaTaslima Nasrin Bangladesh Ex-doctor, feminist author [4]
1995 Zana, LeylaLeyla Zana Turkey A female politician of Kurdish descent from Eastern Turkey, who was imprisoned for 10 years for speaking her native language of Kurdish in the Turkish Parliament [3]
1996 Jingsheng, WeiWei Jingsheng People's Republic of China An activist in the Chinese democracy movement [4]
1997 Ghezali, SalimaSalima Ghezali Algeria Journalist and writer, an activist of women's rights, human rights and democracy in Algeria [4]
1998 Rugova, IbrahimIbrahim Rugova Kosovo Albanian politician, the first President of Kosovo [3]
1999 Gusmão, XananaXanana Gusmão East Timor Former militant who was the first President of East Timor [5]
2000 ¡Basta Ya! Spain Organisation uniting individuals of various political positions against terrorism [6]
2001 Peled-Elhanan, NuritNurit Peled-Elhanan Israel Peace activist [3]
2001 Ghazzawi, IzzatIzzat Ghazzawi Palestine Writer, professor. [3]
2001 Kamwenho, Dom ZacariasDom Zacarias Kamwenho Angola Archbishop and peace activist [3]
2002 Payá, OswaldoOswaldo Payá Cuba Political activist and dissident [7]
2003 Annan, KofiKofi Annan (& United Nations) Ghana Nobel Peace Prize recipient and seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations [3]
2004 Belarusian Association of Journalists Belarus Non-governmental organisation "aiming to ensure freedom of speech and rights of receiving and distributing information and promoting professional standards of journalism" [8]
2005 Ladies in White Cuba Opposition movement, relatives of jailed dissidents [9]
2005 Reporters Without Borders International France-based non-governmental organisation advocating freedom of the press [9]
2005 Ibrahim, HauwaHauwa Ibrahim Nigeria Human rights lawyer [9]
2006 Milinkievič, AlaksandarAlaksandar Milinkievič Belarus Politician chosen by United Democratic Forces of Belarus as the joint candidate of the opposition in the presidential elections of 2006 [10]
2007 Mahmoud Osman, SalihSalih Mahmoud Osman Sudan Human rights lawyer [4]
2008 Jia, HuHu Jia People's Republic of China Activist and dissident [11]
2009 Memorial Russia International civil rights and historical society [12]
2010 Fariñas, GuillermoGuillermo Fariñas Cuba Doctor, journalist and political dissident [13]
2011 Asmaa Mahfouz,
Ahmed al-Senussi,
Razan Zaitouneh,
Ali Farzat,
Mohamed Bouazizi (posthumously)
Egypt
Libya
Syria
Syria
Tunisia
Five representatives of the Arab people, in recognition and support of their drive for freedom and human rights. [14]
2012 Jafar Panahi,
Nasrin Sotoudeh
Iran Iranian activists, Sotoudeh is a lawyer and Panahi is a film director. [15][16]
2013 Malala Yousafzai Pakistan Campaigner for women's rights and education [17]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought". European Parliament. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "1986: Sakharov comes in from the cold". BBC News. 23 December 1986. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "20 years of the Sakharov Prize: Human rights and reconciliation". European Parliament. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Sakharov Network calls for immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Sakharov Prize laureate 1990". Reporters Without Borders. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Gusmão receives EU Sakharov prize". BBC News. 15 December 1999. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Basque group wins peace prize". BBC News. 26 October 2000. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Cuban dissident collects EU prize". BBC News. 17 December 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Europeans Honor Belarusian Association of Journalists". United States Department of State. 9 November 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Gibbs, Stephen (14 December 2005). "Cuba 'bars women from prize trip'". BBC News. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Belarussian takes EU rights award". BBC News. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "China dissident wins rights prize". BBC News. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Russia rights group wins EU prize". BBC News. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Cuba dissident Farinas awarded Sakharov Prize by EU". BBC News. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2011". European Parliament. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Saeed Kamali Dehghan (26 October 2012). "Nasrin Sotoudeh and director Jafar Panahi share top human rights prize". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi – winners of the 2012 Sakharov Prize". European Parliament. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  17. ^ Jordan, Carol (10 October 2013). "Malala wins Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought". CNN. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 

External links[edit]