Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • France’s former first lady lifts lid on 'cold' Hollande

    Read more

  • French mum reunited with daughter 'kidnapped by jihadist father'

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    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)