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European honour for Sudanese lawyer's Darfur work

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European honour for Sudanese lawyer's Darfur work


The European Parliament has given its annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to a Sudanese human-rights lawyer who has helped hundreds of victims of the Darfur conflict.

The President of the European Parliament, Hans Gert Pöttering announced that the prize is going to Salih Mahmoud Osman, an opposition member of the Sudanese parliament.

Osman works with the Sudan Organisation Against Torture, and has given free legal advice to those on the receiving end of human rights abuses in Darfur for more than two decades.

He said: “Humanitarian organisations and governments are always providing humanitarian assistance to the victims in the camps, but we do expect that the European Union can address the protection of civilians in a more satisfactory way. Again, we would like the EU to contribute to the process of peace.”

Some experts claim 200,000 people have been killed, and 2-and-a-half-million others have been displaced, since mainly non-Arab groups took up arms against the Khartoum government in 2003, accusing it of neglect.

The government says those figures are exaggerated.

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