Deputies of the largest faction of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament nominate the Belarusian opposition for the Sakharov Prize “For Freedom of Thought,” the press service of the EPP said in a communiqué on Wednesday.
“The Democratic opposition of Belarus represented by the Coordinating Council and a number of opposition figures, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, will be nominated by the European People’s Party for the Sakharov Prize “For Freedom of Thought this year,” the document says.
According to the representative of the faction Sandra Kalniete, the whole world admires the determination, courage, and strength of Belarusian women and men fighting for dignity, freedom, and democracy in their country. “As long as the Belarusian people continue non-violent resistance and struggle for freedom, the sympathy of the world will be on their side,” the MEP said.
Earlier another faction of the European Parliament “Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats” also announced its intention to nominate the Belarusian opposition activists for the Sakharov Prize.
The European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize to individuals and organizations that, according to MEPs, defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Every year in September, MEPs may nominate candidates for the award. Candidates must be supported by at least 40 MPs.
After collecting the signatures of the nominees, the members of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Development and the Subcommittee on Human Rights discuss at a joint meeting. The laureate is usually announced in October.
The award ceremony is held at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg in December.