Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs ' €80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more

Middle east

Iranian activists awarded Sakharov rights prize

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-10-26

The European Union's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was awarded on Friday to two Iranian activists, filmmaker Jafar Panahi (pictured) and rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Filmmaker Jafar Panahi and rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh of Iran have won the European Parliament's Sakharov rights prize, lawmakers said in a series of tweeted messages Friday.
              
The Iranian pair were chosen for the prestigious 50,000-euro ($65,000) award ahead of the jailed members of Russian all-girl punk band Pussy Riot and Belarus dissident Ales Beliatsky.


              
The shortlist for the prize, which recognises those who promote human rights and democratic values, was notable in that all the nominees bar Panahi are currently behind bars.
              
Jointly nominated, Panahi is free but faces a six-year sentence and had been banned from making more films while Sotoudeh is serving an 11-year sentence.
              
Last year, Panahi's "This Is Not A Film" had to be smuggled out in a USB key inside a cake to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
              
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina were sentenced in August to two years in a labour camp for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after bursting into an Orthodox cathedral to stage protest songs against Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
              
Russia slammed European lawmakers for nominating the punk musicians for the prize on the grounds they were interfering with Russian government work.
              
Earlier this month, a Russian appeals court unexpectedly ordered the release of Samutsevich in what many observers believe was an attempt to split the tight-knit band.
              
Belarus activist Beliatsky, who headed the Vyasna (Spring) human rights organisation, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in a prison camp on tax evasion charges in November and had his property confiscated.
              
Vyasna was instrumental through 2011 in gathering funds to help activists and politicians jailed in the crackdown after the December 2010 presidential election and the mass protest that followed.
              
It had been banned by Belarussian authorities and operated out of Lithuania and Poland, where it held its bank accounts. Beliatsky's conviction was made possible after the two countries handed over his bank information to Minsk.
              
The case was condemned by the European Union, further isolating President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet country for the past 18 years.
              
(AFP)

Date created : 2012-10-26

  • CINEMA

    Banned Iranian director Jafar Panahi makes a movie, and a statement

    Read more

  • HUMAN RIGHTS

    Arab Spring activists win Sakharov Prize

    Read more

COMMENT(S)