December 14, 2018
Latest News
Freedom Of Thought

Venezuelan opposition gains Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought

 The president of Venezuelan National Assembly, Julio Borges, one of the opposition leaders awarded with the Sakharov Prize 2017. (File photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EFE)

The president of Venezuelan National Assembly, Julio Borges, one of the opposition leaders awarded with the Sakharov Prize 2017. (File photo: Miguel Gutiérrez/EFE)

Strasbourg (France), Oct 26 (efe-epa).- The European Parliament decided on Thursday (26 October 2017) to award the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and human rights to the Venezuelan opposition, represented by the National Assembly, its president Julio Borges, and opposition leaders such as Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma. 

The Venezuelan opposition beat the other two finalists, Guatemalan human rights activist and indigenous leader Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic and writer Dawit Isaak, imprisoned since 2001 in Eritrea.

In the candidacy bid, Yon Goicoechea, Lorent Saleh, Alfredo Ramos, Daniel Ceballos and Andrea González, considered “political prisoners” by the European Parliament, had also been proposed by the European People’s Party (EPP) and the liberals (ALDE).

MEP José Ignacio Salafranca (EPP, Spain) said after hearing the decision that it is a “gesture of high symbolic value that will contribute to restoring freedom, democracy, peace and human rights in Venezuela.”

The PPE said the Venezuelan opposition represents “a group of courageous men and women who are not afraid, who do not surrender, who fight for their freedom and dignity, even if harassed, beaten, imprisoned, or disabled”.

MEP Beatriz Becerra (Spain, ALDE) congratulated the winners and said “this recognition will encourage Venezuelans to continue their peaceful and exemplary defence of freedom and the rule of law” against the “abuses” of the country’s head of state, Nicolás Maduro, who took over after the death of the leftist President Hugo Chavez in 2013.

“Now it is more important than ever that they remain united and not surrender to the manipulations and abuses of dictator Maduro,” Becerra said.

For Becerra, the Sakharov is “a tool of political activism”.

“It means that the European citizens, represented in their Parliament, give their support to the cause of a free and democratic Venezuela,” she added.

The award, which includes €50,000 and an honorary diploma, will be presented at a ceremony in Strasbourg on 13 December.

The Sakharov Prize has been awarded since 1989 to personalities such as South African leader Nelson Mandela, opponents of the Cuban regime like the Damas de Blanco or Guillermo Fariñas and platforms such as the Spanish Basta Ya!, among others.

Last year, the award went to Yazidi activists Nadia Murad Basi Taha and Lamiya Ayi Bashar, victims of sexual slavery perpetrated by the jihadist Islamic State group in Iraq.

By Mónica Faro

Translated by Paola Tamma (EURACTIV)

 

DISCLAIMER:

The project was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant program in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information for opinions expressed in the context of this project. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or program broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the project.

News history
Venezuelan opposition receives EU's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

“I am yearning for the moment when the prison doors will open, all exiled people will return and we all will embrace each other,”  the President of the...

The lesser known Sakharov winners languishing in prison in Venezuela

Encircling one of the hills of the rough terrain of Caracas rose, in the 1950s, El Helicoide, a futuristic building that represented, through its...

Sakharov: an enduring legacy

The ideology of Nobel Peace laureate Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989) , father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, nuclear disarmament activist and human rights...

Lilian Tintori: Leopoldo Lopez's house arrest partner

"My home became a prison," Lilian Tintori told EFE in an interview, referring to the house arrest of her husband, Venezuelan opposition leader and 2017...

I already possess the prize for being alive, Ledezma says

To former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, one of the eight winners of the 2017 Sakharov Prize, the biggest prize is "being alive". He dedicated the EP award...

I’m fighting politically for what I believe in: Goicoechea

Yon Goicoechea, one of eight Venezuelan opposition leaders awarded the 2017 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, faced the choice of either going into...

A prize forever?

Three decades after the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was established, the conduct of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi has prompted the European...

Venezuelan opposition gains Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought

The European Parliament decided to award the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and human rights to the Venezuelan opposition, represented by the...

Dawit Isaak's daughter holds out hope

Family members of imprisoned Eritrean-born journalist Dawit Isaak have not lost hope of winning his freedom, but after 16 years they are relying more on...

No word from Dawit Isaak

Dawit Isaak marks his 53rd anniversary this week, behind bars in an Eritrean prison. One of the candidates to the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought,...

Lolita Chavez: Defender of the ‘Many Trees’ people

As both a woman and a member of an indigenous community, Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic has experienced double discrimination first-hand and is determined to...

Venezuelan opposition leader: ‘It is the freedom-fight of the 21st century’

Julio Borges, president of the Venezuelan parliament, is the only opposition leader who is not imprisoned among those shortlisted for this year’s edition of...

Looking back on 30 years of the Sakharov Prize

Political dissidents, journalists, writers, peace and human rights activists, citizen movements and NGOs have won the European prize that bears the name of...

From Mandela to Malala: Sakharov winners that won the Nobel Peace prize

Four laureates of the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for freedom of thought, an award established in 1988 and named after the Soviet physicist and...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.