Network Latest News
EP President Schulz appeals for the release of Razan Zaitouneh


10-3-2014: opening the plenary session of the European Parliament, the President of the European Parliament and co-Chair of the Sakharov Prize Network Martin Schulz called on behalf of the European Parliament for the release of kidnapped Syrian Sakharov Prize Laureate Razan Zaitouneh. More

Ali Ferzat on the core of the Syrian tragedy: the "forgotten human hopes for dignity and freedom"
10-3-2014: Ali Ferzat, Syrian Sakharov Prize Laureate 2011, was in the Czech capital city of Prague on 5 and 6 March to raise awareness of human rights issues in the conflict in Syria, now in its fourth year, with the support of the European Parliament and in cooperation with Czech NGO People in Need, organisers of the One World Film Festival. More

The EP President Martin Schulz on the death on Nelson Mandela
Commenting on the passing of Nelson Mandela, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated: "South Africa today loses its father, the world loses a hero. I pay tribute to one of the greatest humans of our time. My thoughts and condolences go out to Nelson Mandela's immediate family and friends." More
Laureates Latest News
Malala Yousafzai wins the Nobel Peace Prize
09-10-2014: Sakharov Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi were awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education". Malala is the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Prize, just as in 2013, at age 16, she became the youngest person to be awarded the Sakharov Prize. Malala said she was "honoured" to receive the award, adding it made her feel "more powerful and courageous". More
Hu Jia fears for his life under increasingly brutal harassment in China
15-09-2014: Chinese Sakharov Prize Laureate 2008 Hu Jia is being threatened with death and his family, including his 7-year old daughter, are being threatened and harassed daily says his wife Zeng Jinyan. In a letter to the European Parliament supported by Front Line Defenders, Ms Zeng, herself a Sakharov Prize nominee, calls for the European Parliament to increase its support for Hu Jia. More
Leyla Zana addresses concerns to EP President Schulz and Sakharov Laureates
07-08-2014: Sakharov Prize Laureate and Kurdish representative in the Turkish Parliament Leyla Zana has addressed an official letter EP President Schulz and Sakharov Prize Laureates exhorting both to protect and aid vulnerable communities whose lives and cultures are being threatened by the turmoil in the Middle East. More
Razan Zaitouneh kidnapped in Syria with her husband and two other activists

Razan Zaitouneh

09-12-2013 Razan Zaitouneh has been kidnapped in Syria on Tuesday with her husband and two other activists. Human rights activists alerted HRAC to the kidnapping which took place on Tuesday 9-2-13 in Douma, a rebel-controlled area of Syria. More
EP Urgency Resolutions
Persecution of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan
18-09-2014: Parliament condemned "in the strongest possible terms the arrest and detention of Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev and Hasan Huseyni" and demanded their immediate and unconditional release as well as the withdrawal of all charges against them, and for suitable medical care to be given to them. The European Parliament reiterated "its call on the Azerbaijani government to take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation in the country as a matter of urgent priority, including immediately and unconditionally releasing all political prisoners and ceasing politically motivated arrests". More
Burundi, the case of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa
18-09-2014: the detention leading human rights defender and President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was "firmly" condemned by the European Parliament which called for his "immediate unconditional release" and demanded that he be given urgent medical assistance" for his deteriorating state of health. Parliament expressed "deep concern about the absence of justice for scores of political killings between 2010 and 2012, following the 2010 elections" and called on "the Burundian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of these killings are brought to justice, in fair trials, and make every effort to prevent political violence before the 2015 elections". More
On human rights violations in Bangladesh
18-09-2014: Parliament expressed concern about "continuing human rights violations by the RAB and other security forces, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of opposition activists". It reiterated its call for the "abolition of the death penalty and welcomed the Supreme Court decision of 16 September 2014 to commute the death sentence handed down by the International Crimes Tribunal to the vice-president of Jamaat-e-Islami, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, to life imprisonment". Parliament also emphasised "the importance of an independent, impartial and accessible judicial system to enhance respect for the rule of law and for the fundamental rights of the population, and of reforming the International Crimes Tribunal" recognising that "it is more important than ever to build public confidence in the judiciary, security and human rights institutions, given the increased threats in the region from terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda".
It urged the Bangladeshi government the government to fully implement the action plan it agreed and signed with the ILO in 2013 for the reform of the garment industry following the Rana Plaza factory collapse, with more than 1 100 casualties.
EP Latest News
Decision on 2014 postponed as EFDD dissolves
16-10-2014:the EP's Conference of Presidents today postponed to 21 October its decision to name the 2014 winner of the Sakharov Prize as one of its members, leader of the Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) announced the dissolution of his political group. The Conference of Presidents, chaired by EP President Martin Schulz, comprises the leaders of the EP's political groups. It will now have to be reconfigured. The EFDD lost its status as an EP political group as its sole Latvian MEP, Iveta Grigule, left, leaving it without Members from a minimum seven Member States as required by the EP's rules. More
3 finalists for the 2014 Sakharov Prize
17-10-2014:Denis Mukwege, Euromaidan represented by Mustafa Nayem, Ruslana Lyzhychko, Yelyzaveta Schepetylnykova and Tetiana Chornovo, and Leyla Yunus are the three finalists for the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The final decision on the 2014 winner will be decided by the EP's Conference of Presidents on 16 October 2014. More
Emotions run high as the Human Rights Sub-Committee focuses on children in Gaza
11-09-2014:Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Sakharov Prize Laureate 2001 from Israel, gave a passionate address to a hearing on a hearing on the situation of children in armed conflicts, with a focus on Gaza, held by the EP's Sub-Committee on Human Rights (DROI) chaired by Ms Elena Valenciano Martínez-Orozco. Ms Peled accused Israel of perpetrating a holocaust on Palestinians in Gaza. MEPs agreed, challenged or opposed the term and called for an EP Delegation to visit Gaza. More