Sakharov Prize 2018: three finalists selected 

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Non-governmental organisations saving migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, Oleg Sentsov and Nasser Zefzafi were shortlisted for the 2018 Sakharov Prize on Tuesday.

Following a joint vote by MEPs in the Foreign Affairs and Development committees on Tuesday, the three finalists for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought are (in alphabetical order):

  • Non-governmental organisations protecting human rights and saving the lives of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea
  • Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov
  • Moroccan political activist Nasser Zefzafi

Next steps

The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political group’s leaders) will select the final laureate on 25 October. The prize will be awarded in a ceremony in Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg on 12 December.


The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. 2018 marks 30 years since the Sakharov Prize was first conferred.

Last year, the prize was given to the democratic opposition in Venezuela. It is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov.