The nominees for the 2023 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought - the European Parliament’s human rights prize - have been announced. Each year Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize to honour exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. In 2022, the winners were the brave people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders and civil society. Nominations are made by political groups or by at least 40 MEPs. This year’s nominations were presented during a meeting of the foreign affairs and development committees and the human rights subcommittee on 20 September 2023.
According to the statement, the nomination of the European Conservatives and Reformists group are the pro-European people of Georgia and Nino Lomjaria, former public defender of Georgia, "for efforts to defend their rights and safeguard democracy. As public defender, Lomjaria advocated for the rights of people facing discrimination - those who fled Russia-occupied regions of Georgia, ethnic and religious minorities, children and the disabled - and for free speech," EP's statement said.
Mahsa Amini and the women of Iran were nominated by the parliament’s three largest blocs, making Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in Iran last year while in custody for an alleged hijab infractionthe, favorite to be chosen for the award in December. Afghan education activists Marzia Amiri, Parasto Hakim, and Matiullah Wesa were also nominated.
The Identity and Democracy group has nominated Elon Musk for exposing practices by Twitter’s (now X) previous management that were detrimental to users’ freedom of expression. He wants to end these practices and is against denying someone a platform because of their political views.