Leyla Yunus, an Azerbaijani human rights activist who is currently in jail on spurious charges, has been nominated by the Greens/EFA group for the 2014 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought (1). Commenting on the decision, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts stated:
“Leyla Yunus' tireless human rights work in Azerbaijan over a long period is the epitome of that which the Sakharov Prize aims to recognise. We have nominated Leyla Yunus to draw attention to her outstanding work but also to the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan. We will be pushing other political groups to support her nomination, as a signal to the Azerbaijani authorities to stop their recent wave of repression. The EU cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the rights situation in Azerbaijan, which is a member of the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the EU's Neighbourhood Policy."
(1) The Sakharov Prize is an award conferred annually by the European Parliament on individuals who combat fanaticism, intolerance or oppression. Political groups of the European Parliament can make one nomination for the award. The final decision will be taken by the European Parliament in October. More details: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/00f3dd2249/Sakharov-Prize-for-Freedom-of-Thought.html
More information on Leyla Yunus: http://www.greens-efa.eu/sakharov-prize-2014-12767.html