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Malala, Snowden named for EU’s Sakharov Prize

September 26, 2013

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for championing girl’s education, and US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden have been nominated for the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Human Rights prize.

Malala, who has become emblematic of the fight against the most radical forms of Islamism, is backed by the three main political groups in parliament, making her a favourite for the award.

Snowden, the US contractor who revealed widespread spying by the United States on friends and foes alike and who has sought asylum in Russia, has been nominated by the Greens and a far Left group.

A parliament statement today also named the Standing Man group, activists behind the Taksim Square protests in Istanbul in June which upset the accepted view that Turkey was on the smooth path to lasting political stability.

The other nominees are jailed Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega, Belarus political prisoners Ales Belyatsky, Eduard Lobau and Mykola Statkevich, and jailed former Russian oligarch and Putin-foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Also nominated is the CNN Freedom Project, a global media campaign to raise awareness on human trafficking.

The winner of the prize will be announced in October.

Last year’s award went to detained Iranians, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film-maker Jafar Panahi, to honour those “standing up for a better Iran.” 

Past winners of the $65,000 prize include South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. 

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