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Malala Yousafzai wins Sakharov Prize

Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the 2013 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought. She was shot in the head by the Taliban last year for campaigning for better education rights for girls.

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Malala at the United Nations, July 2013

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, 16, has been awarded this year's Sakharov Prize for human rights by the European Parliament.

"Malala personifies the fight for education for girls in areas where respect for women and their basic rights are completely ignored," said Joseph Daul, the chairman of the European People's Party, the largest group in parliament.

Also in the running was US whistleblower Edward Snowden and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a jailed one-time opponent of Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

The Sakharov Prize has been given each year by the European Parliament since 1988 to commemorate Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Past winners include Nelson Mandela and Myanmar activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

The young Malala has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded this Friday in Oslo.

hc/tj (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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