The democratic opposition in Venezuela will receive the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in a ceremony on Wednesday at noon.
The Democratic Opposition includes the country's National Assembly (Julio Borges, Speaker) and all political prisoners as listed by Foro Penal Venezolano, represented by Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma, Daniel Ceballos, Yon Goicoechea, Lorent Saleh, Alfredo Ramos and Andrea González. They will all, either in person or through representatives, be presented with the prize by EP President Antonio Tajani, during a ceremony on Wednesday at noon.
Representatives of the laureates will hold a press conference with President Tajani immediately after the award ceremony at 12.30.
Also shortlisted for the Prize were Guatemalan human rights defender Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic and Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak. Lolita Chavez will attend the ceremony. Dawit Isaak, imprisoned in Eritrea, will be represented by his daughter.
Ahead of the ceremony, MEPs on the committees on Foreign Affairs, on Development and on the Subcommittee on Human Rights will hold a discussion with the 2017 Sakharov Prize winners, on Monday 11 December from 19.30 – 21.00. You can follow the meeting through webstreaming.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year the prize was awarded to Nadia Murad and Lamya Haji Bashar, two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by Islamic State (IS). They have become spokespersons for women who have undergone sexual violence perpetrated by the terrorist group.
Award of the Sakharov Prize
Wednesday, 13 December - 12.00