The award was presented to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Brussels
The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize “For Freedom of Thought” to the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and other prominent figures of the democratic opposition in Belarus. The prize was presented by the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli at a ceremony in Brussels on December 16.
Tikhanovskaya accepted the award on behalf of the Coordination Council, a body created by the political opposition of Belarus to facilitate the transfer of power in the country after the August presidential elections, the results of which the West has refused to recognize.
“An invisible wall of fear was built around us,” said the laureate, addressing the European MPs. – But this year we rallied and believe that this wall can be demolished, brick by brick. The dream of a better Belarus supports us “.
“Without a free Belarus, Europe cannot be truly free,” added Tikhanovskaya. – Long live Europe, long live Belarus! ”
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Tikhanovskaya was awarded the Sakharov Prize to the Belarusian opposition in Brussels
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Sakharov Prize 2020 – The democratic opposition of Belarus, marching for freedom
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“Your fight is our fight,” Sassoli said addressing the Belarusian opposition.
Tikhanovskaya this week arrived in Brussels for talks with EU leaders ahead of the award ceremony. Sassoli stressed that representatives of the Belarusian opposition received an award for courage, resilience and determination in the struggle for freedom of thought and speech.
The annual prize of 50 thousand euros, named after the Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in 1988 and is awarded for achievements in the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
This year’s laureates included several members of the Coordination Council, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Maria Kolesnikova, Veronika Tsepkalo, Olga Kovalkova and Sergey Dylevsky; Svetlana Aleksievich, Nobel Prize Laureate; Sergei Tikhanovskaya’s husband in prison; Stepan Putilo, founder of the NEXTA Telegram channel; Ales Bialiatski from the human rights organization “Viasna” and political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, who ran for president in the 2010 elections.
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