The leader of the opposition in Belarus has won the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for human rights work. Alexander Milinkevitch stood but lost against the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko in elections in March, a poll that was dogged by accusations of fraud.
Leaving prison after 15 days inside for taking part in an unauthorised meeting, Milinkevitch said his jail term had only strengthened the opposition. The Sakharov Prize, which is worth 50,000 euros, was set up in 1988 to honour those who have fought against oppression, intolerance and injustice.
Milinkevitch was part of a shortlist of three including an umbrella group of people fighting to free hostages in Colombia and the Lebanese journalist and diplomat Ghassan Tueni. Previous winners include South Africa's Nelson Mandela and the United Nations's Kofi Annan.