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Malala Receives EU's Sakharov Prize In Strasbourg

  • RFE/RL

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai has received the 2013 Sakharov Prize at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
She called the award a great honor and said it gave her encouragement to continue her education efforts.
"I truly feel honored when I look at the list of previous recipients. Amazing and deserving recipients like Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Kofi Annan," Malala said.
The 16-year-old was announced as the recipient of the prize in October in acknowledgement of her fight for the rights of all children to be educated.
Malala told the audience that her prize was a gesture of recognition for all those who fight for human rights.
Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban as she traveled home from school in her native Swat Valley in October 2012.
Before being shot, she had written a blog for the BBC in which she described life under Taliban pressure and expressed her views on the need for education for girls.
Malala used the occasion on November 21 to issue an appeal for more EU support for education in Asia and Pakistan.

"I would urge the European countries to support the suffering countries, especially in Asia and especially Pakistan because Pakistan needs help in education, trade, and development," Malala said.

"An educated and employed youth can shape and transform the future of Pakistan. As a human being, I think that for the survival of everyone, the fittest needs to struggle for the survival of the weak. If we leave millions behind, if we leave millions behind, we can never succeed and never survive even if we are the fittest."
The 50,000-euro ($65,000) Sakharov Prize is awarded annually by the European Parliament to honor defenders of human rights and freedom of expression.
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