Adding to the numerous prize given to Malala Yousafzai, European parliament seated at Strasbourg has awarded its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013 to her. Following Taliban’s deadly attack on her for advocating the right of education to school girls in Pakistan, her name has become familiar worldwide as a campaigner of right to education and free speech.
- She has already felicitated by a number of organisations and governments worldwide.
- with this award she joins stalwarts like Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar).
Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
- The 50,000 euro Annual award is named after Andrei Sakharov Prize For Freedom (Nobel Peace Prize 1975), a Soviet scientist and dissident (in Russia) who is considered father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb. Later, concerned at the likely implication of nuclear arms on humans, he started raising awareness about dangers of nuclear arms race.
- considered Europe’s top human rights award it was established by European Parliament in December 1988
- it recognizes and honours the courage taken by awardees (individuals /organizations) to defend human rights and freedom of expression.
- given on 10 December (World Human Rights Day – United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948).
List of Notable prize winners :
2013 Malala Yousafzai
2012 Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi
2011 Arab Spring activists
2008 Hu Jia (Chinese Dissident)
2003 UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and all UN staff
1994 Taslima Nasreen
1990 Aung San Suu Kyi
1988 (First Sakharov Prize) Nelson Mandela and Anatoli Marchenko (posthumously)