‘Mustafa Dzhemilev, the former leader of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people, ex-Soviet dissident and Ukrainian MP has been struggling for human rights and rights of national minorities for over 50 years now. As he was only six months old, he and his family were deported to Central Asia, along with other Crimean Tatars. 45 years after that, he returned. Now that Russia annexed Crimea, the human rights defender is once again banned to enter the peninsula’, reads the note at the European Parliament’s Website.
In 2015, the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize went to Raif Badawi, writer and blogger from Saudi Arabia.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and named after Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. A shortlist of nominees is drawn up by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development, with the winner announced in October. The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of €50,000.