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Arab Spring Representatives Win Sakharov Prize 2011

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The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought 2011 goes to five representatives of the Arab Spring. Every year the European Parliament awards individuals or organizations that have made an important contribution to the fight for human rights or democracy. Here's the report.

On Thursday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the winners of The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought 2011 were announced by President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek.

This year the price goes to five representatives of the Arab Spring.

[Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament]
"They are: Mohamed Bouazizi from Tunisia, Asmaa Mahfouz from Egypt, Ahmed al Zubair Ahmed al-Sanusi from Libya, and Razan Zeitouneh and Ali Farzat from Syria. This year's winners symbolize the struggle for dignity, democracy and human rights, and are co-authors of historical changes in the Arab world."

One of the winners, Mohamed Bouazizi, was a Tunisian market trader who set himself on fire at this central place in Tunis in December 2010 after incessant humiliation and badgering by the Tunisian authorities.

Public sympathy and anger inspired by this gesture led to the ousting of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Mr Bouazizi's self-immolation also sparked uprisings and vital changes in other Arab countries such as Egypt and Libya, collectively known as the "Arab Spring".

[Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament]
"The award is a symbol of solidarity of the European Parliament with them, as well as our support for their struggle for liberation from authoritarian regimes."

The price will be presented by President Jerzy Buzek at the European Parliament's formal session in Strasbourg on December 14.

NTD news, Strasbourg.

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