Belarus opposition leader awarded EU parliament’s human rights prize

Global News published this video item, entitled “Belarus opposition leader awarded EU parliament’s human rights prize” – below is their description.

Europe should be braver in its support for the Belarus opposition, leading figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Wednesday as she accepted the EU parliament’s annual human rights prize.

The award was made by the body in support of the country’s protests against the results of an August presidential election that the West and the opposition say was rigged. Tens of thousands have taken part in protests despite police brutality and detentions, to denounce what they say is President Alexander Lukashenko’s attempt to prolong his 26-year rule.

“We ask Europe and the whole world to stand with Belarus,” Tsikhanouskaya said before lawmakers as she and others accepted the 50,000 euro prize. “We call on Europe to be braver in their decisions and support the people of Belarus now. Not tomorrow, and not some when in the future.”

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, is awarded every year. Past winners include South African President Nelson Mandela, Venezuela’s democratic opposition and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai.

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