Alexey Navalny was awarded the Sakharov Prize - ForumDaily
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Alexey Navalny was awarded the Sakharov Prize

The European Parliament awarded Navalny the Sakharov Prize, reports with the BBC

Photo: Shutterstock

The European Parliament awarded Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought - this is the main human rights award of the European Union.

The fact that Navalny became the winner of the award is reported by the European People's Party, the largest faction of the European Parliament, which at the end of September nominated the oppositionist for this award. The official winner will be announced later.

Reaction

“Navalny tirelessly fights the corruption of Vladimir Putin’s regime. It cost him his freedom and almost cost him his life. Today's award recognizes his enormous bravery and we reiterate our call for his immediate release,” David Sassoli, head of the European Parliament, tweeted.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that he “welcomes the decision to award the prize to Navalny.”

"Great news. Even such well-known awards, alas, will not free Alexei from prison,” wrote Navalny’s ally, Georgy Alburov.

“This decision once again confirms that he is not an ordinary foreign agent, but he is a person on whom a serious bet is made. And all methods are good to support this “Navalny” avatar in the media space,” Andrei Klimov, head of the temporary commission of the Federation Council on protecting state sovereignty and preventing interference in Russia’s internal affairs, told the TASS agency.

“I am ashamed of the European parliamentarians. They award a bonus to a criminal who is serving a sentence for what is essentially fraud. With this decision they are devaluing this premium. No one will seriously pay attention to this award anymore,” Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, told the TASS agency.

Sakharov Prize

In addition to Navalny, the top three contenders included 11 Afghan women (activists and human rights defenders) and a Bolivian prisoner, Janine Agnes, a politician.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded annually by the European Parliament. Its size is 50 thousand euros ($59 thousand).

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The presentation ceremony is planned to be held during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 15 December. Navalny will not be able to attend the event, since he has been in a Russian colony since the beginning of this year.

He is due to be released in the fall of 2023, but several more criminal cases have been initiated against the politician in Russia.

Last year, the Belarusian oppositionists received the Sakharov Prize.

In 2018, the prize was awarded to Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who was sentenced by a Russian court to 20 years in prison on terrorism charges.

In the fall of 2019, he was released as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine.

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The Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was established by the European Parliament in 1988 and is awarded to people or public organizations “for their exceptional contribution to the fight for freedom of thought and human rights around the globe.”

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