The European Parliament has named the finalists for this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, its award for human rights and democracy campaigners. The Committees for Foreign Affairs and Development voted from a list of seven candidates put forward by MEPs.
Co-chair Josep Borrel gave a brief background of the three: “We have an Asian candidate, Hu Jia. This Chinese dissident nominated last year remains a finalist. He held a videoconference with MEPs, and for this was charged with subversion, which carried with it a prison sentence. We have Aleksandr Kozuline, a European from Belarus, a leader of opposition in one of the last dictatorships remaining in Europe. And then we have Abbot Apollinaire Malu Malu, from Congo… therefore an African, an Asian and a European.”
To mark the 20th anniversary of the prize named after the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, all the previous laureates are invited to Strasbourg for this year’s award ceremony on December 17.