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Current Affairs

Alexei Navalny wins Sakharov Prize

Date: 25 October 2021 Tags: Honours & Awards

Issue

Russian opposition leader and lawyer, Alexei Navalny has been bestowed with Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

 

Background

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is the top award of European Parliament. Navalny has been under arrest since February 2021.

 

Details

  • Navalny has been arrested many times for organizing protests against the regime of President Vladimir Putin. He is one of the most vocal and fiercest critics of the President.

  • Navalny is under custody for violating terms of a 2014 sentence for fraud that was suspended. He now serves a 2.5 years prison sentence.

 

The poisoning incident

  • Navalny is said to have survived a poisoning attempt by Russian officer using a nerve agent. He survived after getting treated in Germany.

  • He was exposed to the nerve agent called Novichok that put is life in danger. Russia denies its involvement put Navalny has blamed Putin for the ordeal.

 

Anti-corruption crusader

  • Navalny has founded an NGO named Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) to unveil corruption offenses in the highest authorities.

  • The most famous investigations are “He is Not Dimon to You” and the other is “Putin’s Palace”.

  • The Putin’s Palace documentary alleges that Putin has built a “palace” for himself that overlooks the Black Sea.

 

The Sakharov Prize

The prize is given for human rights work. The first recipients of the award were South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela and Soviet dissident writer Anatoli Marchenko in 1988. 

 

Award criteria

  • The award is given to political prisoners of conscience, political writers, dissidents, journalists, lawyers, writers, minority leaders and anti-terrorist groups.

  • Previous winners include Malala Yousafzai (2013), the democratic opposition of Venezuela (2017) and economics professor and advocate for China’s Uyghur Muslims Ilham Tohti (2019).

 

The selection

  • The political groups of European Parliament nominate the candidates. The full committees vote on a shortlist of three candidates.

  • The winner is chosen by the Conference of Presidents. The winners will receive an endowment of 50,000 Euros that is given at the end of each year.