Thursday, August 28, 2014


Watchdog

Pussy Riot, Belarus Activist Nominated For Sakharov Prize

Ales Byalyatski in court in Minsk during his trial for tax evasion in November 2011
Ales Byalyatski in court in Minsk during his trial for tax evasion in November 2011
By RFE/RL
The Russian feminist protest group Pussy Riot and Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski are among the European Parliament's five nominees for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The nomination list, posted Thursday on the European Parliament website, singles out Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, all facing two-year jail sentences, for what it calls their "courageous, spectacular, and creative" antigovernment protest in a Moscow church.

Also nominated was Byalyatski, the jailed chairman of the Vyasna human rights center, which has actively reported on Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's ongoing crackdown on dissent.

A decision on the finalist will be made in late October, followed by an award ceremony in December.

Past winners include activists slain during last year's Arab Spring protests and Russia's Memorial rights group.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Belarus Service

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