Every year, the European Parliament award, endowed to freedom of thought and conscience, goes to people or organizations that have distinguished themselves in particular by fighting for democracy and defending human rights. This year, the opposition Belarusian Coordination Council was awarded.
In informing about the decision of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament to choose the final laureate from among the nominees, EP President David Sassoli congratulated the representatives of the Belarusian opposition on "their resilience and determination".
"Every day they embody the defense of freedom of thought and speech, which is why they receive the Sakharov Prize. They show how strong they are in the face of a powerful adversary. Great protests in the squares of Belarus that have touched the whole world have been going on for 11 weeks. Our admiration for the Belarusian people is great,” the Italian said..
He added that MEPs are outraged by the actions of Alexander Lukashenka's regime, which resorts to torture to deny the truth. He also recalled that the European Union did not recognize the election of Alexander Lukashenka, stating that the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9 did not meet democratic standards. He also once again condemned the violence of the authorities in Minsk against the peaceful protests of the opposition.
“Violence will never win. Our message to you, dear laureates, is: keep going strong, don't give up your battles. We will be by your side, we are with you. I hope to be able to welcome you to the EP soon,” Sassoli added.