Snowden in 2013 Sakharov prize nominees
On 16 September, EP published the 2013 Sakharov prize nominees list. Besides Snowden, the nominees are: Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan), Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega (Ethiopia), Ales Bialatski, Eduard Lobau and Mykola Statkevich (Belarus), Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Russia), the “Standing Man” protesters (Turkey), and the CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern - Day Slavery (USA).
The Green group and the left GUE/NGL party group nominated Snowden, because in May he revealed information about several top-secret surveillance programs run by the U.S. and British governments.
The Ethiopian journalists Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega were nominated by Ana Maria Gomes (S&D, PT) and 40 other MEPs. Alemu and Nega are serving prison terms on terrorism charges, because they criticised the Ethiopian government.
On the other hand, the three Belarusian nominees, all political prisoners under the Belarusian regime, were proposed by EPP and ECR MEPs.
The former head of the oil giant Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was nominated by Werner Schulz (Greens/EFA, DE) and 40 other MEPs. Khodorkovsky, remains a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was arrested in 2003 based on tax fraud allegations.
"Standing Man” protesters were proposed by Marietje Schaake (ALDE, NL). Erdem Gündüz was the first man to stand and stare in the Taksim Square protests in Istanbul and later he was joined by others, making this form of protest a symbol of the peaceful movement for a liberal society respecting human rights and freedoms.
The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery was nominated by Boris Zala (S&D, SK). This international media campaign is against the slave trade, human trafficking, and forced and child labour and has issued over 400 reports since 2011 highlighting the suffering of victims across the globe.
However, according to the Radio Free Europe, the favourite among the 2013 Sakharov prize nominees is the Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai. She was 11 years old when she began her fight for the right to female education, freedom and self-determination in Pakistan's Swat Valley, where the Taliban regime bans girls from attending school.