The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded to outstanding individuals or organizations for defending human rights. The Sakharov Prize was founded in 1988 and has been awarded every year to human rights lawyers, activists, NGOs, including Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai. Last year Ilham Tohti, defender of the Uyghur minority received the Prize.
This year the nominees are:
- The democratic opposition in Belarus
The democratic opposition in Belarus has been nominated by the EPP, S&D, Renew Europe and the ECR. Latvian EPP member Sandra Kalniete emphasized “The people of Belarus deserve the Sakharov Prize, because Belarussians of all generations have revolted against the Lukashenko dictatorship. Violence will not stop the Belarusian people in their demands for free elections and democratic change."
- Mgr Najeeb Moussa Michaeel, Archbishop of Mosul
The Archbishop of Mosul saved the life of several Christian people when the Islamic State took over the city. He also saved more than 800 historic manuscripts that were later digitised in France.
- The Guapinol group and Berta Cáceres environmental activists in Honduras
Guanipol environmental activists organised peaceful protest against against a company that endangered rivers in Honduras, for which they were imprisoned. Berta Cáceres was fighting for right of land on behalf of indigenous people in Honduaras, and was murdered in 2016.
- Jakub Gawron, Paulina Pajak, Paweł Prenet and Kamil Maczuga Polish LMBTQ activists
The Polish activists started a website entitled Atlas of Hate that have helped them monitoring Polish municipalities with anti-LGBTQ regulations.
The winner of the Prize is announced on 22nd October 2020. The award ceremony will take place on 16th December in Strasbourg.
Photo: Jewher Ilham receives the 2019 Sakharov Prize on behalf of her father Ilham Tohti (Source: European Parliament)
Source / more info: News of the European Parliament - Sakharov Prize Nominees in 2020