Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah nominated for European Parliament award

Saturday 20-09-2014 02:59 PM
Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah nominated for European Parliament award

Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been nominated for the European Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, according to a parliament press release.

Abdel-Fattah gained prominence during the 25 January 2011 uprising. He is currently appealing a 15-year prison sentence for violating Egypt's controversial protest law.

Abdel-Fattah joined a popular hunger strike movement inside prison to protest the detention of political activists and the protest law. A court decision ordered his release last week on bail pending the continuance of his trial.

Six others are nominated along with Abdel-Fattah for the Sakharov Prize. 

Abdel-Fattah is nominated with two other Arabs: Moroccan rapper and human rights activist Mouad Belghouate, and Tunisian rapper Ala Yaacoubi.

The prize is named after Soviet-era physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Three finalists will be shortlisted 7 October. The prize winner will be decided by a number of political group leaders and the European Parliament’s president 16 October.

The award ceremony takes place in Strasbourg, France, 26 November.

Asmaa Mahfouz, another Egyptian human rights activist, received the Sakharov Prize in 2011. She is known for posting a video, which went viral, asking people to take to the streets on 25 January 2011 to protest ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Past winners of the prize also include anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and former UN chief Kofi Annan.

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