Sakharov Prize goes to Belarusian democratic opposition

Sassoli: Your aspiration and determination to live in a democratic country inspires us

During a ceremony at the European Parliament hemicycle in Brussels on Wednesday, the Belarusian democratic opposition was formally awarded the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition candidate, was among the nine representatives of the Belarusian opposition that came in person to receive the prize. All they are part of the Coordination Council, an initiative of brave women, and political and civil society figures.

EP President David Sassoli, who led the ceremony, stated that the whole world is aware of what is happening in Belarus. “We see your courage. We can see the courage of women. We see your suffering. We see the unspeakable abuses. We see the violence. Your aspiration and determination to live in a democratic country inspires us," he underlined.

I would like to pay special tribute to our laureates and the strength that you displayed, Sassoli added.

Saying that each and every Belarusian who takes part in the peaceful protest against violence and lawlessness is a hero, Tsikhanouskaya recalled that Belarusians have been marching every week since the 9 August election. “They march for their future and the future of those who cannot be there. They march for the freedom and dignity of Belarusians, of Europeans, yours and ours. Without free Belarus, Europe is not fully free either,” she stressed. She said her wish is every Belarusian who is now in jail or was forced to live in exile to return home.

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