Young Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the 2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The prize is awarded by the EP each year to honour exceptional people who fight against intolerance and oppression. Ms Yousafzai was honoured for her fight to promote education for girls in the face of Taliban violence. Meanwhile Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally received her Sakharov Prize on 22 October, 23 years after it was awarded by the EP,
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzaï made a passionate plea for more education as she accepted the 2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in Strasbourg. Ms Yousafzai, who was honoured for her fight to promote education for girls despite the threat of Taliban violence, said: "There is poverty, lack of freedom, fear and terrorism, but there is hope, because we are all here together united to help these children, to speak for them, to take action."
Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013, following today's decision of the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders). She will be invited to receive the award at a ceremony in Strasbourg on 20 November.
Human rights have always been a priority for the European Parliament, which is why every year MEPs award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to honour those who fight for human dignity. On 20 November the 25th anniversary of the prize was marked with a ceremony in Strasbourg, attended by more than 20 laureates. We spoke to human rights subcommittee chair Barbara Lochbihler, a German member of the Green group, about how the prize has helped to promote human rights around the world.
The finalists for this year’s Sakharov Prize have been named as Belarusian political prisoners Ales Bialatski, Eduard Lobau and Mykola Statkevich, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai. The laureate will be selected by EP president Martin Schulz and the leaders of the political groups on 10 October and the ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on 20 November.
Myanmar human rights legend Aung San Suu Kyi finally received her Sakharov Prize on 22 October, 23 years after it was awarded by the European Parliament. "This is a great moment, a moment for which an entire generation in your country but also here in Europe have been waiting for," said EP president Martin Schulz..
The Sakharov Prize has helped to call attention to human rights infringements across the world and to highlight the courage of those dedicated to fighting them. Previous winners have benefited from increased media coverage of their situation, which has helped to effect changes. In our interactive map you can find out more about our previous winners and where they come from.
A heroic girl from Pakistan, a Turkish protester, Belarussian, Russian and Ethiopian political prisoners, CNN and NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden are this year's nominees for the Sakharov Prize. They were presented on 16 September by the Parliament's foreign affairs and human rights committees. All of these nominations were made by MEPs or political groups. The final winner will be chosen in October.
The Sakharov Prize is intended to honour exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression. Like Andrei Sakharov himself, all the winners of the prize have shown how much courage it takes to defend human rights and freedom of expression.