Live: Cuban protest movement "Damas de Blanco" finally free to receive their Sakharov Prize 


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Protest group Ladies in White - also known as "Damas de Blanco" - during a march in Cuba © BELGA_Joe Raedle_Getty_AFP 

Eight years after being named as winner, the Cuban Ladies in White are finally set to receive their 2005 Sakharov Prize in person from EP president Martin Schulz. The Ladies, the courageous mothers and wives of Cuban political prisoners, have only now been authorised by Havana to travel to Europe to collect their prize. It will be handed over by Mr Schulz during a special meeting today at 17.45pm CET. Watch this event live on our website.

In 2005, the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Cuban protest movement Ladies in White. However, the Ladies were not allowed by the Cuban regime to travel to Europe and receive the award. The award will now be handed over during a special joint meeting of the foreign affairs, development and human rights committees. 

The Sakharov Prize is awarded by the EP every year to honour individuals or organisations campaigning for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Launched in 1988, the prize is named after Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist, political dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The meeting will be streamed live on our website this evening at 17.45 CET. There will also be an open debate between the Ladies in White and representatives from civil society in the EP at 14.30 CET. To follow the two events, click on the link on the right.