The 2009 awarding ceremony inside the Parliament's Strasbourg hemicycle
|Presented by||European Parliament|
|Currently held by||Jafar Panahi, Nasrin Sotoudeh|
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 honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought. A shortlist of nominees is drawn up by the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Development Committee, with the winner announced in October. As of 2010, the prize is accompanied by a monetary award of €50,000.
The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly Marchenko. The most recent award, in 2012, was given to two Iranian dissidents, Jafar Panahi and Nasrin Sotoudeh. The prize has also been awarded to different organisations throughout its history, the first being the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (1992).
The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around 10 December, the day on which the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, also celebrated as Human Rights Day.
|1988||Nelson Mandela||South Africa||Anti-apartheid activist and later President of South Africa|||
|1988||Anatoly Marchenko (posthumously)||Soviet Union||Soviet dissident, author and humans rights activist|||
|1989||Alexander Dubček||Czechoslovakia||Slovak politician, attempted to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring|||
|1990||Aung San Suu Kyi||Burma||Opposition politician and a former General Secretary of the National League for Democracy|||
|1991||Adem Demaçi||Kosovo||Kosovo Albanian Politician and long-term political prisoner|||
|1992||Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo||Argentina||Association of Argentine mothers whose children disappeared during the Dirty War|||
|1993||Oslobođenje||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Popular newspaper, continued to publish after its office building was destroyed in Sarajevo|||
|1994||Taslima Nasrin||Bangladesh||Ex-doctor, feminist author|||
|1995||Leyla 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|||
|1996||Wei Jingsheng||People's Republic of China||An activist in the Chinese democracy movement|||
|1997||Salima Ghezali||Algeria||Journalist and writer, an activist of women's rights, human rights and democracy in Algeria|||
|1998||Ibrahim Rugova||Kosovo||Albanian politician, the first President of Kosovo|||
|1999||Xanana Gusmão||East Timor||Former militant who was the first President of East Timor|||
|2000||¡Basta Ya!||Spain||Organisation uniting individuals of various political positions against terrorism|||
|2001||Nurit Peled-Elhanan||Israel||Peace activist|||
|2001||Izzat Ghazzawi||Palestine||Writer, professor.|||
|2001||Dom Zacarias Kamwenho||Angola||Archbishop and peace activist|||
|2002||Oswaldo Payá||Cuba||Political activist and dissident|||
|2003||Kofi Annan (& United Nations)||—||Nobel Peace Prize recipient and seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations|||
|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"|||
|2005||Ladies in White||Cuba||Opposition movement, relatives of jailed dissidents|||
|2005||Reporters Without Borders||—||France-based non-governmental organisation advocating freedom of the press|||
|2005||Hauwa Ibrahim||Nigeria||Human rights lawyer|||
|2006||Alaksandar Milinkievič||Belarus||Politician chosen by United Democratic Forces of Belarus as the joint candidate of the opposition in the presidential elections of 2006|||
|2007||Salih Mahmoud Osman||Sudan||Human rights lawyer|||
|2008||Hu Jia||People's Republic of China||Activist and dissident|||
|2009||Memorial||Russia||International civil rights and historical society|||
|2010||Guillermo Fariñas||Cuba||Doctor, journalist and political dissident|||
Mohamed Bouazizi (posthumously)
|Five representatives of the Arab people, in recognition and support of their drive for freedom and human rights.|||
|Iran||Iranian activists, Sotoudeh is a lawyer and Panahi is a film director.|||
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