Venezuelan Opposition Receives E.U.’s Sakharov Freedom Prize

“The ruling party has steadily limited the rule of law of and the constitutional order, and in March 2017, the Supreme Court stripped the democratically elected National Assembly of legislative power,” a press release by the European Parliament mentioned.

Hundreds of Venezuelans have been arbitrarily arrested and dozens been killed over the previous yr alone, European officers mentioned. Scores of protesters have been killed this yr throughout months of avenue demonstrations towards the Maduro authorities.

The official laureate is the “democratic opposition in Venezuela,” as represented by the nation’s National Assembly and its president, Julio Borges, and the political prisoners listed by Foro Penal, a human rights group, Mr. Tajani mentioned.

Mr. Borges will probably be invited to obtain the prize, which comes with 50,000 euros, about $59,000, at a ceremony in Strasbourg this yr.

Mr. Tajani pledged to guard rights and freedom of opinion inside and outdoors Europe. He famous that on the identical day, two activists had been freed by Turkey — partially due to strain from the European Union.

“We want people who are fighting for human rights or freedom of opinion anywhere in the world to know that they can count on this parliament,” Mr. Tajani mentioned.

The prize is known as after Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet physicist and political dissident, and it has been awarded yearly since 1988.

Other finalists for this yr’s prize have been Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, an activist from Guatemala who fights to guard indigenous peoples from the enlargement of agro-industry on their territory; and Dawit Isaak, a Swedish-Eritrean journalist and author who has been arbitrarily detained by the Eritrean authorities since 2001.

Last yr, the Sakharov Prize was awarded to Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, two younger Yazidi girls who escaped captivity and sexual slavery below the Islamic State.

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