The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize – the main EU award in the field of human rights – to the people of Ukraine. It was announced by President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola.
In her speech, she emphasized that over the past nine months, Ukrainians had been heroically defending not only themselves and their homeland, but also the whole Europe.
“They risked their lives defending the values of Europe: freedom, democracy and the rule of law. There is no one more deserving of this award,” Metsola added.
Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine is inflicting huge costs on the Ukrainian people. They are not only fighting to protect their homes, independence and territorial integrity, but they are also defending freedom, democracy, the rule of law and European values on the battlefields“ against a cruel regime that seeks to undermine our democracy, weaken and divide our European Union”, say MEPs.
About the Sakharov Prize
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is an annual award of the European Parliament, launched in 1988. The award is presented for achievements in the fields of human rights, democracy, respect for international law and protection of minority rights.
Candidates for the Sakharov Prize are nominated by members of the European Parliament. In order to be considered, a candidate must be nominated by a group of MEPs or at least 40 MEPs, although each of them may support only one candidate. As a rule, the final list of candidates is formed annually in September.
This year’s candidates for the Sakharov Prize, in addition to the Ukrainian people, were also Julian Assange, one of the activists of the WikiLeaks organization, and the Colombian Truth Commission.