Nominations were made on Tuesday for the European Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Among them is the Ukrainian EuroMaidan movement, which led to the overthrow of the regime of Viktor Yanukovych, Euractiv reports.
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The winner will be announced in October.

Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, who is also a Vice President of the centre-right European Peoples’ Party (EPP), and 52 other MEPs made the nomination for EuroMaidan. The pro-European Ukrainian movement is represented by journalist Mustafa Nayem, musician and Eurovision winner Ruslana Lyzhychko, activist Yelyzaveta Schepetylnykova and journalist Tetiana Chornovol.

The Sakharov Prize, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in 1988 by the European Parliament. The last recipients were the Russian civil rights society Memorial in 2009, the Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas in 2010, representatives of the Arab people in recognition of their role in the Arab spring, for 2011, imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi for 2012 and young Pakistani Malala Yousafzai for 2013.

The other nominations for 2014 are:

  • Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a law professor from the University of Mosul who stood up for Christian rights and was killed last July, and Louis Raphael Sako, the Iraqi-born patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, nominated for their defence of religious freedom in the country by the ECR group, Anna Záborská and 66 other MEPs.
  • The rappers Mouad Belghouate (also known as El Haqed from Morocco) and Ala Yaacoubi (also known as Weld El, from Tunisia) and the Egyptian blogger and political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, nominated by the GUE/NGL group.
  • CHREDO, Open Doors, Oeuvre d'Orient and Aid to the Church in Need, organisations for the protection of Christian minorities, nominated by Philippe Juvin (EPP, France) and 60 other MEPs.
  • The Somali-born American activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, defender of women's rights in Islamic societies, known for her opposition to female genital mutilation, nominated by the Europe of freedom and direct democracy group (EFDD).
  • Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist specialised in the treatment of rape victims and founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic Congo, nominated by the S&D and ALDE groups and MEP Barbara Lochbihler (Greens, Germany).
  • Leyla Yunus, imprisoned Azerbaijani human rights activist and director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, nominated by the Greens/EFA group and MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (ALDE, Germany), MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE, the Netherlands) and MEP Ramon Tremosa (ALDE, Spain).

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