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Together against torture!

Galician summer 2022: citizens discover international human rights issues through poetry and music

The European Parliament and 2017 Sakharov Prize laureate Lorent Saleh marked the summer season in Galicia/Northern Spain with a series of conferences and artistic performances mobilising local communities for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

Building on the traumatic experience of Lorent Saleh as a political prisoner in Venezuela, the "Price of Freedom" conferences brought together local citizens, visiting tourists, municipal councillors and MEPs, to reflect about the importance of supporting human rights activists who endure severe forms of repression and torture because of their engagement for our freedoms.

Lorent Saleh promoted the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought as a significant and symbolic act of solidarity and awareness raising, which in his case was instrumental to breaking isolation, confinement, and eventually releasing him from jail.

Recitals of "Underground Poetry", written by Lorent Saleh while imprisoned in Venezuela, accompanied by classical music added an artistic touch to the series of events. Local governments run by different political parties in the hosting municipalities of Foz, Ribadeo, and Remourelle lent their active support. Visitors gave an enthusiastic feedback of this unconventional way of addressing human rights issues - a cultural highlight on the agenda of the Galician summer season this year.

Watch the events here.


The 2022 timetable of the Sakharov Prize has been published

Sakharov Prize laureates
Sakharov Prize laureates © European Union 2020 - EP

As part of its commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights, the European Parliament will award the Sakharov Prize of 2022 on Wednesday, the 14th of December. However, preceding the ceremony, there are a number of steps taken in selecting each year's Laureate.

The first step is for the Members of the European Parliament to nominate the candidates until the 15th of September. Each nominee must have the support of at least 40 members, or of one political group. The nominations are then presented in a joint meeting to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development and the Subcommittee on Human Rights that takes place on the 26th of September.

On the 13th of October, a shortlist of three candidates is established in a meeting of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development. The Conference of Presidents, consisting of chairs of all Parliament's political groups, then decides on the Sakharov Prize Laureate during a meeting on the 20th of October. The award ceremony, attended by both the winner and the finalists, takes place in Strasbourg on the 14th of December.

The exhibition, which presents in more detail the life and work of Andrei Sakharov and some laureates of the European Parliament Prize named after him, will adorn the Krakovski nasip (Krakow Embankment) in Ljubljana until 15 February.

On the 10th of December, the International Human Rights Day, the European Parliament had the pleasure to open a new exhibition to the public - Andrei Sakharov: Scientist, Dissident, Human Rights Activist.

Every year, the European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to courageous individuals or organisations that stand up for human rights and democratic values. But do you know the man behind the award? From developing the hydrogen bomb to defending political prisoners, meet Andrei Sakharov.

On the occasion of the centenary of Andrei Sakharov the Sakharov Center in Moscow organised a two-day conference to discuss the legacy of Andrei Sakharov and the issues of human rights and peace in today’s world.

Today the European Parliament is celebrating 100 years since the birth of Andrei Sakharov, the Russian physicist, dissident and human rights defender behind the Sakharov Prize.

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Andrei Sakharov’s birth, Heidi Hautala, Vice-President responsible for the Sakharov Prize Community, is hosting 2014 Sakharov Prize laureate Dr Denis Mukwege and Maria Arena, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, for a debate on the fight against impunity in the DRC on Friday, 21 May, 13:00-14:00.

On the occasion of the Sakharov Centenary, on Friday 21 May from 12.30 pm-1.30 pm (IST), you will have the chance to attend a special online event "EU Standing with the people of Belarus on the Sakharov Centenary", organised by European Parliament Liaison Office in Dublin.

Newsletters of the Sakharov Prize Community

The aim of the Newsletter (available only in English) is to build stronger links between the laureates and the European Parliament and to inform about the recent activities of the Sakharov Prize Community. If you would like to subscribe to the Newsletter or receive earlier issues (2013-2019), please send your request to the Human Rights Actions Unit of the European Parliament.

Important Notice

Most of the content on the News page is available in English only.