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Sakharov Prize

The 2009 awarding ceremony inside the Parliament's Strasbourg hemicycle
Presented byEuropean Parliament
First awarded1988
Last awarded2011
Currently held byAsmaa Mahfouz, Ahmed al-Senussi,Razan Zaitouneh, Ali Farzat, Mohamed Bouazizi
Official websiteWebsite
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.[2] A shortlist of nominees is drawn up by the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Development Committee, with the winner announced in October.[1] As of 2010, the prize is accompanied by a monetary award of 50,000.[1]
The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela and Russian Anatoly Marchenko. The most recent award, in 2011, was given to five representatives of the Arab SpringAsmaa Mahfouz,Ahmed al-Senussi, Razan Zaitouneh, Ali Farzat, and Mohamed Bouazizi—for their contributions to "historic changes in the Arab world".[3] The prize has also been awarded to different organisations throughout its history, the first being the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (1992).
The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around 10 December, the day on which the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948,[4] also celebrated as Human Rights Day.[5]

[edit] Recipients

Nelson Mandela was the inaugural winner of the prize, together withAnatoly Marchenko.

Hu Jia received the award in 2008.
1988Nelson MandelaSouth AfricaAnti-apartheid activist and later President of South Africa[6]
1988Anatoly Marchenko (posthumously)Soviet UnionSoviet dissident, author and humans rights activist[6]
1989Alexander DubčekCzechoslovakiaSlovak politician, attempted to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring[6]
1990Aung San Suu KyiBurmaOpposition politician and a former General Secretary of the National League for Democracy[7]
1991Adem DemaçiKosovoPolitician and long-term political prisoner[6]
1992Mothers of the Plaza de MayoArgentinaAssociation of Argentine mothers whose children disappeared during the Dirty War[7]
1993OslobođenjeBosnia and HerzegovinaPopular newspaper, continued to publish after its office building was destroyed in Sarajevo[7]
1994Taslima NasrinBangladeshEx-doctor, feminist author[7]
1995Leyla ZanaTurkeyA female politician of Kurdish descent from Eastern Turkey, who was imprisoned for 10 years for speaking her native language of Kurdish in the Turkish Parliament[6]
1996Wei JingshengPeople's Republic of ChinaAn activist in the Chinese democracy movement[7]
1997Salima GhezaliAlgeriaJournalist and writer, an activist of women's rights, human rights and democracy in Algeria[7]
1998Ibrahim RugovaKosovoAlbanian politician, the first President of Kosovo[6]
1999Xanana GusmãoEast TimorFormer militant who was the first President of East Timor[8]
2000¡Basta Ya!SpainOrganisation uniting individuals of various political positions against terrorism[9]
2001Nurit Peled-ElhananIsraelPeace activist[6]
2001Izzat GhazzawiPalestineWriter, arrested several times by Israeli authorities for "political activities"[6]
2001Dom Zacarias KamwenhoAngolaArchbishop and peace activist[6]
2002Oswaldo PayáCubaPolitical activist and dissident[10]
2003Kofi Annan (& United Nations)Nobel Peace Prize recipient and seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations[6]
2004Belarusian Association of JournalistsBelarusNon-governmental organisation "aiming to ensure freedom of speech and rights of receiving and distributing information and promoting professional standards of journalism"[11]
2005Ladies in WhiteCubaOpposition movement, relatives of jailed dissidents[12]
2005Reporters Without BordersFrance-based non-governmental organisation advocating freedom of the press[12]
2005Hauwa IbrahimNigeriaHuman rights lawyer[12]
2006Alaksandar MilinkievičBelarusPolitician chosen by United Democratic Forces of Belarus as the joint candidate of the opposition in the presidential elections of 2006[13]
2007Salih Mahmoud OsmanSudanHuman rights lawyer[7]
2008Hu JiaPeople's Republic of ChinaActivist and dissident[14]
2009MemorialRussiaInternational civil rights and historical society[15]
2010Guillermo FariñasCubaDoctor, journalist and political dissident[16]
2011Asmaa Mahfouz,
Ahmed al-Senussi,
Razan Zaitouneh,
Ali Farzat,
Mohamed Bouazizi (posthumously)
Five representatives of the Arab people, in recognition and support of their drive for freedom and human rights.[3]