1988 - 2000

The ‘Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo’ led a peaceful resistance movement against the military dictatorship and repression in Argentina in response to the forced disappearance and torture of political opponents.

Former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi spearheaded Myanmar’s pro-democratic struggle against the country’s military dictatorship. Under house arrest at the time of the award, she was only able to receive the Sakharov Prize in person 23 years later – on 22 October 2013.

¡Basta Ya! (‘enough is enough’) was a popular citizens’ initiative against terrorism and political violence in Spain’s Basque Country.

Once the leader of East Timor’s (Timor-Leste’s) struggle for freedom and self-determination, Xanana Gusmão became the nation’s first president and later served as its prime minister.

Working tirelessly towards peaceful solutions and dialogue, the first President of Kosovo dedicated his life to the non-violent resistance of ethnic Albanians against Serbian oppression.

Editor-in-chief of the critical newspaper La Nation and President of the Association for the Emancipation of Women, Salima Ghezali advocates women’s rights, democracy and political dialogue in Algeria.

A leader of the opposition to the Chinese regime, Wei Jingsheng denounces human rights violations and fights for democracy. He remains unsilenced by prison and exile.

The first Kurdish woman to be elected to the Turkish Parliament in 1991, Leyla Zana’s fight for democracy symbolises her people’s struggle for dignity and human rights.

Exiled from Bangladesh and Bengal for her secular views, the writer Taslima Nasreen fights against the oppression of women and opposes all forms of religious extremism.

The journalists of Sarajevo’s Oslobođenje newspaper risked their lives fighting to maintain the unity and ethnic diversity of their country during the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Taking a stand against the harsh repressions of the Serbian regime, the ‘Mandela of the Balkans’ devoted himself to the promotion of tolerance and ethnic reconciliation in Kosovo.

A leading figure in the Prague Spring, Alexander Dubček strove to achieve democratic and economic reform. He continued to fight for freedom, sovereignty and social justice throughout his life.

A former Soviet Union dissident who brought to light the horrific jail conditions of political prisoners, Anatoli Marchenko was nominated by Andrei Sakharov himself.

An icon in the fight against racism, Nelson Mandela led South Africa’s historic transition from apartheid to a racially inclusive democracy and promoted equal opportunities and peace for all.