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The three jailed members of Pussy Riot have been nominated for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which pleases the Russian Foreign Ministry not at all. The yearly prize is awarded by European Parliament, which the Russian foreign minister on human rights democracy Konstantin Dolgov takes as meddling (via The Parliament):

“The group of European deputies’ initiative cannot be assessed as anything other than a crude attempt at interference in the activities of independent arms of the Russian state and as an attempt to cast doubt on the decision of the judge, who delivered her verdict in accordance with the due process of law.” He stressed that Moscow hopes the EU will respect the memory of Andrei Sakharov “and the millions of Orthodox believers whose rights and feelings were hurt as a result of the aforementioned act against people’s rights”.

The prize was named after the Soviet activist Andrei Sakharov, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. Previous winners of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought include Nelson Mandela (its first recipient), Aung San Suu Kyi, Kofi Annan, and Reporters Without Borders. The prize includes an award of €50,000 (2,004,035.00 rubles).




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