Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is one of the three finalists for the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the EU’s main human rights award. The short list was announced by the chairmen of the two committees of the European Parliament, writes DW.
The prize is also nominated by 11 Afghan women and imprisoned former acting President of Bolivia, Jeanine Agnes.
The winner of the award will be announced on October 21.
The candidacy of Alexei Navalny “for his courage in the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights” was nominated by the largest faction of the European Parliament – the European People’s Party and the third largest faction of the liberals “Renew Europe”. They called the politician “the main political opponent” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Sakharov Prize was approved by the European Parliament in 1988 and is awarded to individuals “who have made an exceptional contribution to the struggle for human rights around the globe.” It is named after Soviet human rights activist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. In 2020, the award was received by representatives of the Belarusian opposition, in 2019 – by the Uyghur scholar, public figure and defender of the rights of the Uighurs from China Ilham Tohti, and in 2018 – by the Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who was tried in Russia in 2015. After his release, he came to the European Parliament and addressed the deputies in person.
Alexei Navalny is now in correctional colony No. 2 in the city of Pokrov in the Vladimir region, where he was placed when he returned from Germany to Russia: formally, this was done at the request of the Federal Penitentiary Service, which considered that the oppositionist violated the conditions of probation in the “case” Iv Roche. “Navalny was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in a general regime colony.
On October 12, it became known that the Investigative Committee has combined five criminal cases against Navalny and his supporters into one. The politician’s companion Ivan Zhdanov explained that it included charges under the article on money laundering, three articles on extremism (financing, leadership and participation) and another case, possibly under the article on the creation of a non-profit organization that infringes upon the personality and rights of citizens.