The winner of this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, a European Parliament human rights award, will be announced this Wednesday. There are three finalists. The French press freedom organisation Reporters Sans Frontières was nominated by the liberals and centrists. The lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim was nominated by the socialist group. In Nigeria she defends women who are accused of adultery under Islamic Sharia law. It is a charge which can get them stoned to death.
The Sakharov prize customarily designated in October and awarded in December goes to an individual or organisation in honour of efforts against oppression and injustice. The Cuban group fighting for political prisoners’ rights Las Damas de Blanco, Women In White, was proposed by the parliament’s conservatives. Rights groups say hundreds of dissidents are held for political reasons in President Castro’s communist state.