The EU Parliament has awarded its annual human rights Sakharov Prize to the “brave people of Ukraine, represented by their President, elected leaders, and civil society.”
“This award is for those Ukrainians fighting on the ground, for those who have been forced to flee, for those who have lost relatives and friends, for all those who stand up and fight for who and what they believe in,” said European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
They are standing up for what they believe in.
Fighting for our values.
Protecting democracy, freedom & rule of law.
Risking their lives for us.
No one is more deserving.
Congratulations to the brave people of Ukraine! pic.twitter.com/SORmU2DSbA
— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) October 19, 2022
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is an honorary award for individuals or groups who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought.
“The EP Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2022 is awarded to the Ukrainian people, It highlights the efforts of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy together with the role of individuals, representatives of civil society initiatives, and State and public institutions including the State Emergency Services of Ukraine, Yulia Pajevska, founder of the evacuation medical unit Angels of Taira, Oleksandra Matviychuk, human rights lawyer and chairwoman of the organisation Center for Civil Liberties, the Yellow Ribbon Civil Resistance Movement, and Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Melitopol, which is currently under Russian occupation,” the Sakharov Prize’s page reads on the European Parliament’s website.
MEPs have awarded the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders and civil society, the 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Press release: https://t.co/hZ3hOAG3Tv pic.twitter.com/XJSS9srDCs
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) October 19, 2022
The Yellow Ribbon Civil Resistance Movement mentioned in the nomination originated in the temporarily occupied city of Kherson, and it “plays an important part in defending the freedom of speech and resistance against Russian intentions for occupied areas,” according to the Sakharov Prize’s page.
.@Europarl_EN awarded #SakharovPrize to the people of 🇺🇦 represented by @ZelenskyyUa, elected leaders and civil society. The most important 🇪🇺 award for the defence of human rights is a recognition for all brave Ukrainians who defend 🇺🇦, their families & the future every day.
— Denys Shmyhal (@Denys_Shmyhal) October 19, 2022
In 2021, the Sakharov Prize winner was the Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. The 2020 laureate was the democratic opposition in Belarus that protested against the rigged presidential election in the country. In 2018, the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov won the prize, who at the time was in Russian jail:
The prize is named after the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.