The European Parliament has drawn up its shortlist for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
The European Parliament has drawn up its shortlist for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The list includes the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Russian-Chechen couple Natalya Estemirova and Sergey Kovalev, and Colombian parliamentarian Ingrid Betancourt. The Belarusian Association of Journalists have been nominated by the parliament’s largest group, the center-right EPP for their work in pursuing press freedom in Belarus. The Parliament as well as the Council and Commission have repeatedly criticised the Belarusian government for impinging on press freedoms in recent years. The Green’s choice is Natalya Estemirova and Sergey Kovalev, a Russian-Chechen couple who have campaigned for human rights and advocated a political settlement to the conflict in the northern Caucuses. Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian parliamentarian in captivity since her kidnap by the FARC in February 2002, has been nominated by the Socialist Group.The leaders of the Parliament’s political parties will decide on the winner in the coming weeks. Last year’s winner was UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and all the staff of the United Nations. (EUobserver.com)