The S&D Group is the leading centre-left political group in the European Parliament and the second largest. Its vice-president Kati Piri said:
“Impressed by the ongoing nationwide peaceful pro-democratic protests taking place in Belarus against the fraudulent 9th of August elections, we are firmly convinced that this year’s Sakharov Prize should honour the brave women of Belarus fighting for freedom and democracy in their country. We are particularly inspired by the three women who spearheaded the grassroots opposition campaign for last month’s presidential elections in an attempt to unseat autocratic dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka.”
According to her, S&Ds firmly stand with the people of Belarus.
“These three women are at the frontline of the fight for freedom in Belarus, while remaining an inspiration for their society and human rights activists around the world. They have set aside political differences and embraced a common simple aim: transform their country into a democracy. Now they are all facing repression, being forced to flee the country or being detained,” MEP Isabel Santos, S&D spokesperson on human rights, added.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded every year by the European Parliament. It was established in 1988 to honour individuals and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.