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Activities in Scotland
Activities in Scotland

Sakharov Prize 2012 Panel Discussion- Thursday 18th October at Glasgow University

On 18th October the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh and the Glasgow Human Rights Network co-hosted an event at Glasgow University which looked at the 2012 Sakharov Prize

This Prize is awarded annually 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.  More information about the Sakharov Prize and details of past winners can be found on the European Parliment website.

There were five nominees for the 2012 Sakharov Prize:

Ales Bialiatski, a human rights defender from Belarus.

Joseph Francis (Pakistan), founder of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Déogratias Mushayidi and Bernard Ntaganda, three Rwandan opposition representatives.

Pussy Riot, a Russian punk group (represented by Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina).

Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi, two Iranian human rights campaigners.

At the event in Glasgow, students on the MSc in Human Rights & International Politics course prepared presentations on the five nominees, in which they set out the case for each nominee to receive the award.  Following a debate and Q&A session, a vote was taken among all those present. On the night, Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi were the clear winners.  The following week, MEPs reached the same conclusion and the Iranian nominees were awarded the Sakharov Prize on 26 October.  The award had an immediate political impact when a Delegation of MEPs cancelled their trip to Iran in early November after they were refused permission to meet with the Prize winners.  For more details, click here.