Sumario: EU Parliament - 2006 Sakharov prize nominees (13 September 2006: Brussels)
This year's nominees for the Sakharov prize represent a range of fields from the support of civil society against totalitarian regimes and defending the rights of minorities to combating violence against women and fighting for peace, dialogue and freedom of expression. The 10 nominees for 2006 were presented Tuesday to the European Parliament's Committees on Foreign Affairs and Development and the Subcommittee on Human Rights.
Hélène Flautre, chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, noted the diversity of this year's candidates and said that "the 2006 award represents a year's work of the EP in the field of human rights".
The Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development will agree a shortlist of three candidates on 25 September, in a joint meeting. The list will be forwarded to the leaders of the political parties, the Conference of Presidents, which will select the winner in October.
Each nominee has been proposed by at least 37 MEPs or by a political group. Below is the list of nominees, together with a brief description.
A Colombian politician, former senator, anti-corruption and anti-drug trafficking activist, who is fighting to end civil war by means of negotiation. She has been a hostage of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) since 23 February, 2002.
Nominated by Marie-Arlette Carlotti (PSE) on behalf of a group of MEPs.
Colombia: for all those fighting for the hostages kidnapped
The group of people (individuals and associations) fighting against hostage-taking and supporting the victims and their families in Colombia, which houses 80% of the world's imprisoned hostages - more than 3000 people.
Nominated by Monica Frassoni and Daniel Cohn-Bendit on behalf of the Greens/EFA group, supported by José Salafranca (EPP-ED), Fernando Fernández Martín (EPP-ED), Frédérique Ries (ALDE) and others.
Fulda-Mosocho Project of Prof. Muthgard Hinkelmann-Toewe
The goal of the project is to overcome female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Mosocho region in Kenya and improve the living conditions of women. Between 2002 and 2005 the rate of FGM in the region was reduced from 98% to 66%.
Nominated by Alexander Alvaro (ALDE) on behalf of a group of MEPs.
A minority and human rights activist, he is the leader of the Mari ethnic opposition against the totalitarian regime in the Republic of Mari El (Russian Federation). He is also a writer and a journalist fighting for freedom of expression. Ethnic Mari belong to the Finno-Ugric language group.
Nominated by Toomas Ilves (PSE) on behalf of a group of MEPs.
Bishop Erwin Kräutler
An Austrian Catholic bishop, who is a missionary in Brazil. He is fighting for the rights of indigenous minorities and the preservation of the rain forest in Brazil and the whole Amazon region.
Nominated by Herbert Bösch (PSE) on behalf of a group of MEPs.
A Cambodian human rights defender, she is fighting against infant prostitution and sex slavery among women and children in Cambodia and South-East Asia. She founded the AFESIP (Agir pour les femmes en situation précaire) association, whose goal is to socially reintegrate the victims of sex-trafficking.
Nominated by Jules Maaten on behalf of the ALDE group.
The leader of the opposition in Belarus. An ex-presidential candidate against President Alexander Lukashenko, he is calling for a democratic future for his country. In April 2006 he was jailed for 15 days for taking part in an unauthorised rally in Minsk.
Nominated by Jacek Saryusz-Wolski on behalf of the EPP-ED group and by Brian Crowley on behalf of the UEN group.
A Lebanese journalist and diplomat, he is an enthusiastic supporter of the Arabic identity. He is the father of Gebrane Tueni, the Lebanese newspaper editor who was assassinated last year. Nominated for Sakharov prize in memory of assassinated Lebanese personalities: Rafik Karimi, Basil Lléhan, Samir Kassir, George Haoni and Gebrane Tueni.
Nominated by Béatrice Patrie and Véronique de Keyser on behalf of the PSE group and by Francis Wurtz on behalf of the GUE/NGL group.
A founding member of EHRCO (Ethiopian Human Rights Council) and human rights defender, he is fighting against violence and famine in Ethiopia and for a more humane socio-political order. Arrested in November 2005, he is currently on trial facing the risk of capital punishment if convicted.
Nominated by Ana Gomes (PSE) on behalf of a group of MEPs.
Women in Black - Belgrade
This Serbian feminist-antimilitarist peace organisation campaigns for reconciliation between nations and ethnicities across the former Yugoslavia and recognition of the crimes committed by the Serbian military and paramilitary during recent wars.
Nominated by Jelko Kacin (ALDE) on behalf of a group of MEPs.