BRUSSELS / MOSUL, Iraq — After his nomination for the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Syriac Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul Najib Mikhael Moussa is now among three shortlisted for the prestigious EU award. The other two shortlisted are the democratic opposition in Belarus and Guapinol activists and Berta Cáceres. The shortlist was announced after a joint vote by Members of European Parliament who have a seat in the Foreign Affairs and Development committees.
According to the EU press statement the European Parliament’s President and political groups’ leaders will select the final laureate on 22 October. Last year’s Sakharov prize was given to Uyghur economist fighting for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority Ilham Tohti. Notable past recipients of the Sakharov Prize include Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Reporters Without Borders, and Pakistani youth activist for female education Malala Yousafzai.
The annual European Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought started in 1988 to honor individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is named in honor of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov and the prize money is EUR 50 thousand.