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Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege was awarded this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, following a decision by EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders. The European Parliament has been awarding the Sakharov Prize since 1988 to exceptional individuals or organisations for their efforts to foster human rights and freedom of expression. Read on to find out more about the prize and this year's edition.

The Sakharov Prize winner 2014 talks to EuroparlTV about living with threats to his person and his work and about his expectations for action by the European Parliament and citizens. 
       

“When I look ahead to the future of Congo, I can’t picture it without these women activists, who have suffered atrocities,” said Dr Denis Mukwege during a visit to Parliament on 26 March. The 2014 Sakharov Prize Winner, who treats victims of sexual violence in DR Congo, discussed his country's future as well as violence against women with the human rights subcommittee. He also called for Congolese unity: “Whenever there is evil in society, that society must mobilise to fight it.”

Denis Mukwege ©BELGA_ANP COMM_SVEN TORFINN        

Denis Mukwege is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014, following today's decision by EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders. Mukwege will be invited to Strasbourg on 26 November to receive the award during the plenary session.

Calendar 
  • 23 September: formal presentation of the nominations 
  • 7 October: announcement of the three finalists  
  • 21 October: announcement of the winner 
  • 26 November: award ceremony in Strasbourg  

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Sakharov Prize winner Miukwege_        

"Women's bodies have become a true battlefield and rape is being used as a weapon of war," said Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege as he accepted the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in Strasbourg on Wednesday 26 November. Dr Mukwege was honoured by the European Parliament for dedicating his life to helping thousands of victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

infographic illustration        

From Mandela to Malala, the European Parliament has been awarding the Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought every year since 1988, but how does the winner get selected? Check out our infographic to find out how the process works and follow #SakharovPrize on Twitter to find out all the latest news on this year's laureate.

Sakharov laureate Denis Mukwege talks about violence against women. ©Pietro Naj-Oleari_Mukwege_11242014_265

©Pietro Naj-Oleari_Mukwege_11242014_265        

"We hope to find solutions to stop rape being used as a weapon of war, sometimes even as a war strategy." For years Denis Mukwege, this year's Sakharov Prize laureate, has been helping the victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo despite threats and his family being attacked. The gynaecologist will be honoured for his work by the Parliament during an award ceremony on Wednesday 26 November in plenary. Read our interview with him and follow the event live.

Sakharov Prize: meet the finalists ©BELGA        

The Ukrainian EuroMaidan movement, a gynaecologist in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and a human rights activist from Azerbaijan have been named as the finalists for the 2014 Sakharov Prize. They were selected by the foreign affairs and development committees on 7 October. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 21 October. Read on to find out more about the finalists.

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Sakharov Prize 2014: Meet the nominees        

They may have different jobs - gynaecologist, religious leader, journalist – but they all share a commitment to defending human rights. The nominations for the Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be formally presented on Tuesday 23 September at a joint meeting of the foreign affairs and development committees and the human rights subcommittee. Follow the meeting live from 16.15 CET. The winner will be announced in October.

For 25 years the Sakharov Prize has honoured inspirational defendors of freedom of thought. How are the laureates nominated and chosen, and who was Sakharov?  
       

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.

infographic illustration        

From Mandela to Malala, the European Parliament has been awarding the Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought every year since 1988, but how does the winner get selected? Check out our infographic to find out how the process works and follow #SakharovPrize on Twitter to find out all the latest news on this year's laureate.