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Thursday, 14 December 2006 - Strasbourg
Follow-up to the Sakharov Prize

European Parliament resolution on the follow-up to the Sakharov Prize

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was established in 1988 and whereas this prize is one of the many ways in which the European Parliament supports human rights and the cause of democracy and is a means of acknowledging the contribution of those who fight oppression, intolerance and injustice in the world,

B.   whereas the prize has been won by the following personalities and organisations: Anatoli Marchenko (1988), Aung San Suu Kyi (1990), Adem Demaçi (1991), Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (1992), Oslobodjenje (1993), Taslima Nasreen (1994), Leyla Zana (1995), Wei Jingsheng (1996), Salima Ghezali (1997), Ibrahim Rugova (1998), Xanana Gusmão (1999), ! Basta Ya ¡ (2000), Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Izzat Ghazzawi and Dom Zacarias Kamwenho (2001), Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas (2002), Kofi Annan and the United Nations (2003), the Belarus Association of Journalists (2004), Damas de Blanco (Cuba), Reporters Without Borders and Hauwa Ibrahim (joint winners) (2005) and Aliaksandr Milinkevitch (2006),

C.   whereas the 1990 prize winner (the Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest) and the 2005 prize winner (the Cuban collective Damas de Blanco) have not yet been authorised to come to receive the prize,

D.   whereas the Conference of Presidents decided to dispatch two delegations to Cuba and Burma to establish contact with the prize winners in order to check on their personal situation,

E.   whereas the winner of the 1996 Sakharov Prize - Wei Jingsheng, who was still imprisoned at the time - has not yet had the opportunity to address the Plenary and receive the reward linked to the prize,

1.  Deplores the fact that some prize winners have still not been authorised to receive their prize in person, which represents a violation of one of the fundamental rights of each human being, namely the freedom to enter and leave one's own country without hindrance, a right which is specifically recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

2.  Demands that, following the Conference of Presidents' decision to dispatch two delegations, one to Burma and the other to Cuba, the authorities of those countries facilitate the delegations' journeys;

3.  Welcomes the decision taken by the Conference of Presidents on 16 November 2006 to establish a follow-up mechanism for winners of the Sakharov Prize and systematically to dispatch a European Parliament delegation to meet those prize winners who have not been authorised by the authorities of their countries to attend the prize-giving ceremony;

4.  Reiterates its demand that all winners of the Sakharov Prize (and in particular Aung San Suu Kyi, Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas and the Cuban collective Damas de Blanco) be given access to the European institutions;

5.  Calls upon its President to take all the necessary steps in order to enable these decisions to be implemented;

6.  Calls upon the Conference of Presidents to enter on the agenda for its next meeting the organisation of a ceremony to award the Sakharov Prize to Wei Jingsheng;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Burmese, Chinese and Cuban Governments, the Chinese Parliament, the Burmese Parliament, the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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