Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny won the European Parliament’s annual human rights honour, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, for his work to expose corruption and measures to curtail freedoms in Russia.
Navalny was chosen as the recipient of the prize by European legislators on October 20, according to the European People’s Party Group, after being shortlisted with a group of Afghan women and a jailed Bolivian opposition leader.
“He has campaigned consistently against the corruption of Vladimir Putin’s regime, and through his social-media accounts and political campaigns, Navalny has helped expose abuses and mobilize the support of millions of people across Russia. For this, he was poisoned and thrown in jail,” European Parliament President David Sassoli said in a statement announcing the award.
Every year, the Sakharov Prize, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, is presented to people working for human rights or democracy.
Last year’s prize of 50,000 euros ($58,000) went to a movement in Belarus challenging President Alexander Lukashenko, a close supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The award will be presented during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg in December.
The other nominees for the prize were a group of Afghan women for their battle for women’s rights in Taliban-run Afghanistan, and Jeanine Anez, a former Bolivian president who is currently imprisoned on allegations of organising a coup in 2019.