Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a group of Afghan women are on the shortlist to win the Sakharov Prize.
Jeanine Anez, the jailed Bolivian politician and former interim president has also been nominated for the European Union’s top human rights award.
The winner of the prize is due to be announced on October 20.
The €50,000 award will then be presented during a European Parliament session in Strasbourg on December 15.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The annual award is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, an advocate of civil liberties in the former Soviet Union.
Navalny, the most prominent foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was imprisoned this year after returning to Russia from Germany, where he had been recuperating from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, Anez served as the conservative interim president of Bolivia for a year before her arrest in March.
She was detained as officials of the restored leftist government pursued those involved in the 2019 ouster of socialist leader Evo Morales.
Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan after the departure of US military forces, the plight of women has taken centre stage.
Despite initial promises to protect the rights of women in education, the Taliban have come under criticism, including from the United Nations, for not sticking to those commitments.
The women nominated for the Sakharov Prize include human rights activists, a journalist, and cultural figures.
Last year, the European Union awarded the prize to opposition activists in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council.