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Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Why is it in the news?

  • The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, one of the most prestigious awards conferred by the European Parliament, was instituted in 1988.
  • Named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, it seeks to commemorate individuals and organizations ardently defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • Recently, it was conferred on Jina Mahsa Amini and the Woman, Life, Freedom Movement in Iran.

About Mahsa Amini

  • Mahsa Amini was a courageous Kurdish-Iranian woman.
  • Her tragic death in police custody became a symbol of resistance against the oppressive regime in Iran.
  • Mahsa’s death catalysed massive women-led protests in the nation.
  • Under the rallying call of “Woman, Life, Freedom”, these protests spotlighted key issues like the hijab law and various other discriminatory regulations.


About Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

  • The prize aims to honour stalwarts of human rights and those who stand for fundamental freedoms.
  • The recipient(s) are awarded €50,000.
  • Named after Andrei Sakharov, a prominent figure in the Soviet Union who was not only a notable physicist but also a fierce political dissident. His commitment to peace and human rights was so profound that he was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Previous Year’s Recipient: In 2022, in a heartfelt gesture, the European Parliament conferred the Sakharov Prize upon the resilient people of Ukraine. This award was represented by their President, elected leaders, and the vibrant civil society, which stood steadfastly against external aggression and internal challenges.

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