Sakharov Prize


November 27, 2021

The Sakharov Prize was established by the European Parliament in 1988 and is awarded annually for the protection of human rights and freedom of thought. The prize is named after Andrei Dmitryevich Sakharov, winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize.

Description of the award

The award is open to exceptional individuals, groups or organizations fighting intolerance, bigotry and oppression, regardless of nationality or location. The organization protects human rights and fundamental freedoms; protection of minority rights; respect for international law; rewards progress in the development of democracy and the rule of law. The prize will be presented by the President of the European Parliament during a formal sitting of the December plenary session in Strasbourg. The date of the transfer is the same as the date on which the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948. The winner will receive a diploma and a cash prize of € 50,000.

List of winners

2021: Alexei Navalny imprisoned Russian opposition politician 2020: The democratic opposition in Belarus 2019: Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur economist fighting for the rights of the Chinese Uyghur minority 2018: Oleh Hennadyevich Sencov is a Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia 2017: Venezuelan Democratic Opposition and Political Prisoners 2016: Nádia Murád Beszi Taha and Lamiya Adzsii Bassár (Iraq) are Yazidi human rights activists, members of a religious minority, survivors of sexual slavery in the Islamic State 2015: Ráif Badavi (Saudi Arabia), a young blogger who defends freedom of expression and has been imprisoned and flogged for his views 2014: Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege for the treatment of victims of violence 2013: Malala Yuzafzai, 16-year-old Pakistani female student, fights for girls' right to education 2012: Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and Film Director Jafar Panahi (both: Iran) 2011: Asma Mahfuz (Egypt), Ahmed al-Zubair, Ahmed al-Sanubi (Libya), Razan Zaituneh (Syria), Ali Farzat (Syria) and Mohamed Buazizi (posthumous, Tunisia) - five prominent personalities of the Arab Spring 2010: Guillermo Fariñas (Cuba) 2009: Memorial Society (Russia) 2008: Hu Jia (China) 2007: Salih Mahmoud Osman (Sudan) 2006: Alexander Milinkevich (Belarus) 2005: Women in White (Cuba), Reporters Without Borders and Hauwa Ibrahim (Nigeria) 2004: President of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Zsanna Litvina 2003: UN and Secretary-General Kofi Annan 2002: Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas (Cuba) 2001: Izzat Ghazzawi (Palestine), Nurit Peled-Elhanan (Israel) and Dom Zacarias Kamwenho (Angola) 2000: ¡Basta Ya! (Spain) 1999: José Alejandro 'Xanana' Gusmão (East Timor) 1998: Ibrahim Rugova (Yugoslavia) 1997: Salima Ghezali (Algeria) 1996: Wei Jingsheng (China) 1995: Líela Zana (Turkey) 1994: Taslima Nasreen (Bangladesh) 1993: Oslobodjenje (newspaper, Bosnia and Herzegovina) 1992: Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (Argentina) 1991: Adem Demaçi (Yugoslavia) 1990: Aun San Suu Kyi (Myanmar) (The European Parliament withdrew its award on 11 September 2020.) 1989: Alexander Dubček (Czechoslovakia) 1988: Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and Anatoly Marchenko (Ukraine, Soviet Union) (posthumous)



Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. European Parliament, (Accessed: 14 December 2010) Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. European Parliament. (Accessed November 6, 2009) Memorial won the 2009 Sakharov Prize. European Parliament. (Accessed November 6, 2009)

More information

Human rights in the spotlight: Sakharov Prize 2010 Andrei Sakharov: an award and its namesake

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