Friday, September 19, 2014


Iran

Pussy Riot, Byalyatski, Sotoudeh, Panahi Shortlisted For Sakharov Prize

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
By RFE/RL
BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament has shortlisted imprisoned Belarusian activist Ales Byalyatski, Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot, and Iranians Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi for the Sakharov Prize.

The annual prize, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, honors people and organizations that have fought for human rights and freedom of thought.

Imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi remain favorites to receive the award, as they enjoy wide support across the political spectrum in the European Parliament.

Byalyatski is the founder of Belarus's Vyasna human rights center.

Pussy Riot, three members of which are serving two-year sentences for staging an anti-Kremlin performance in a Moscow cathedral, is the third candidate.

The winner of the 50,000-euro prize will be announced on October 26.

*CORRECTION: Sotoudeh is facing six years in prison, not the death penalty, as originally stated.

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