The imprisoned critic of the Kremlin Alexei Navalny was honored today, Wednesday (20/10) with the Sakharov Prize, of the European Parliament, which is awarded annually to people or groups fighting for Human Rights.
The 45-year-old, who was poisoned in August 2020 with a substance which according to western countries was a neurotoxic agent, estimates two and a half years in prison for violations of his conditional release, charges which he considers fabricated.
The European Union, in fact, has imposed it sanctions to Russian officials for the poisoning and imprisonment of Navalny.
Moscow, for its part, denies that it has done anything reprehensible and accuses the EU of interfering in its internal affairs. He has also denied Western allegations that Navalny was jailed for his political activities and said he was punished for breaking the law.
«He fought without a break against the corruption of Vladimir Putin’s regime. This cost him his freedom and almost his life. Today’s award recognizes his tremendous bravery and we reiterate our call for his immediate release“, The European Parliament said on Twitter, announcing that Navalny is the winner of the award.
The award is a reward for all Russians fighting for the “truth,” he said in a Twitter post. Anti-Corruption Fund, the organization founded by a number one opponent of Vladimir Putin, broadcasts the APE BPE.
«The Sakharov Prize is of course an award for you, the people who are not indifferent, who, even in the darkest times, are not afraid to tell the truth“, Said the organization.
It is worth mentioning that Navalny’s award was immediately welcomed by the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, amid tensions between Russia and the West.
The award is “a recognition of the important role it has played over the years in defending the values of democracy and being a strong voice in Russia,” the Atlantic Alliance leader told reporters in Brussels.
The attitude of MEPs
Navalny’s candidacy was supported by European People’s Party (right), the largest political group in the European Parliament, and the centrist group Renew, the third largest political force.
For their part, the teams Socialists and Democrats (left) and Ecologists had proposed honoring Afghan women fighting for their equality and freedom against the Taliban regime.
Navalny in new adventures
It is recalled that a few days ago, on October 11, Navalny informed that a prison committee had designated him extremist and terrorist, characterizations which he denies.
The Navalny movement has been hit hard since the summer, when a court ruled that his activities are extremist. Many of his allies have seen their homes searched or their freedom of movement restricted, and some have fled abroad.
After all, Russia started one new criminal case against Navalny who could keep him in prison for another ten years.
For the award
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, established in 1988, was named after the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and is accompanied by a sum of money 50,000 euros.
After Uyghur intellectual Ilham Totti, who was sentenced to life in prison in China for “separatist action” and who received the award in 2019, the Sakharov Prize was given in 2020 to the “democratic opposition” against the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and was received by its leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.