EP President Jerzy Buzek announced 27 October that five Arab Spring activists will be awarded the 2011 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for their contribution to historic changes in the Arab world and as a "symbol for all those working for dignity, democracy and fundamental rights in the Arab world and beyond". The prize was awarded on 14 December during a formal sitting in Strasbourg.
Read on to find out more about the eventual winners and the nominees for this year's award.
Nominees were chosen by political groups and a short list of three were chosen by the Foreign Affairs, Development and Human Rights Committees. The winner was chosen by the political group leaders.
Last year's winner Guillermo Fariñas was prevented by Cuban authorities from attending the award ceremony in Strasbourg.
The prize is named after Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov, who was internally exiled in the Soviet Union for his opposition to the USSR's nuclear programme and repressive policies. He became a member of Mikhail Gorbachev's reformed Soviet Parliament in spring 1989 and founded Memorial, a human rights organisation that keeps his fight alive even after his death in 1989.