Pussy Riot among MEPs’ nominees for 2012 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought

Written by on September 26, 2012 in Europe, News, World - No comments

Five nominations for the 2012 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought were presented at a joint meeting of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs and development committees and the subcommittee on human rights on September 24 2012. They are Ales Bialiatski, Joseph Francis, a group of Rwandan opposition members (Victoire Ingabire, Déogratias Mushayidi, Bernard Ntaganda), Pussy Riot and two Iranian activists (Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi).

The nominees were each presented by their “sponsors”, i.e. a political group or a group of at least 40 MEPs. The winner of the Sakharov Prize will be chosen in October and awarded 50 000 euro.

The  nominations are:

 

  • Ales Bialiatski, a human rights defender from Belarus.

 

  • Joseph Francis (Pakistan), founder of the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement.

 

  • Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Déogratias Mushayidi and Bernard Ntaganda, three Rwandan opposition representatives.

 

  • Pussy Riot, a Russian punk group (represented by Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina).

 

  • Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi, two Iranian human rights campaigners.

“The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought seeks to honour individuals or organisations for their efforts on behalf of human rights, democracy and freedom of expression and their struggle against intolerance and oppression,” the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee chairperson Elmar Brok said.

“This is not just a routine operation, but an opportunity which allows all members to see the candidates for the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought; freedom, which all too often is under attack from various sides,” human rights sub-committee deputy chairperson Joanna Senyszyn said.

The European Parliament’s foreign affairs and development committees will vote on three finalists on October 9 and the EP’s Conference of Presidents will decide on the Laureate on October 26. The laureate will be invited to a joint meeting of foreign affairs and development committees and the human rights sub-committee on December 10 in Strasbourg. The award ceremony will be held in plenary session on December 12.

Related stories:

Pussy Riot sentence is deeply disappointing political intimidation, members of European Parliament say

Pussy Riot: Two wanted band members flee Russia to avoid arrest

Russia Watch: Kremlin x Pussy Riot: Girls win!

Pussy Riot members found guilty, given two-year sentences – updated

 

 

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