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International26 October 2005

Sakharov Prize goes to Cuba’s Women in White, a Nigerian lawyer and Reporters Without Borders


The organisation received the 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday 14 December. It shared the award with Cuba’s “Ladies in White” and Nigerian lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim. "Ladies in White" were prevented from going to Strasbourg see Reporters Without Borders’ statement about "Ladies in White"

26.10.2005 - The Sakharov Prize has been awarded to three winners including Reporters Without Borders

The Paris-based press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders expressed delight at being one of the three joint winners of this year’s Sakharov Prize for the defence of human rights, announced today, and said it dedicated the award "to the 110 journalists throughout the world who are currently in prison."

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said: "We are of course extremely pleased by the news. This award will encourage us to continue on the same road and to do even more, and we hope it will help us in our daily struggle for the defence of press freedom throughout the world."

The organisation said: "We thank the European parliamentarians who gave us their support, especially Jean-Marie Cavada, who backed Reporters Without Borders’s candidacy from the outset. We also thank our correspondents, without whom we would be unable to keep abreast of press freedom violations so effectively."

Reporters Without Borders added: We are also moved to have been co-recipients of this award at the same time as Cuba’s Women in White, as one of its members is the wife of our Cuban correspondent, Ricardo González, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence."

The Sakharov Prize is awarded annually by the European Parliament to individuals or organisations that have made a significant contribution to the defence of human rights. This year’s other winners were Cuba’s Women in White movement and Nigerian lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim.

The Women in White movement consists of wives and other close relatives of imprisoned Cuban dissidents. They meet every Sunday in Havana and other Cuban cities. Ibrahim defends Nigerian women accused of adultery who risk being stoned to death under the Sharia.

The Sakharov Prize was launched 15 years ago.

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