Belarus opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich was declared Thursday as the winner of the Sakharov Prize awarded every year by the European Parliament (EP) to exceptional individuals and organizations who fight intolerance, fanaticism and oppression.
Milinkevich, 59, stood in presidential elections in his country last March the results of which were condemned by the EU.
The prize is named after Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989), one of the leading scientists who developed the hydrogen bomb for the Soviet Union and who later became an outspoken critic of the nuclear arms race.
Ghassan Tueni, a Lebanese journalist, politician and diplomat and a Colombian foundation, which campaigns on behalf of those held hostage, were among the three candidates for the Sakhaarov Prize which comes with a certificate and a cheque for 50,000 euros.
The prize will be awarded during a formal session of the EP on December 13.