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S&Ds present their shortlisted candidates for the 2018 Sakharov Prize


Global Europe
Today, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament presented their six shortlisted candidates eligible for 2018 Sakharov Prize. The Group’s final candidate will be decided next Wednesday evening in Strasbourg.
The shortlisted candidates are:
1. NGOs protecting Human Rights and saving lives of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea: including Proactiva Open Arms, SOS Mediterranée, Médecins Sans Frontières, Sea-Watch, Sea Eye, Jugend Rettet, Lifeline, MOAS and Save the Children. All these NGOs are devoted to search and rescue missions for migrants and refugees fleeing war and terror trying to reach Europe.
2. DAWIT Isaak: human rights activist and journalist imprisoned in Eritrea since 2001.
3. DEMIRTAS Selehattin: co-Chair of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey imprisoned since November 2016.
4. RAJAB Nabeel: prominent human rights defender from Bahrain sentenced in February 2018.
5. BIRAM Dah Abeid: imprisoned Mauritanian human rights activist, and others engaged in the fight against MODERN SLAVERY in Mauritania and all over the world (CNN Freedom Project)
6. MARQUES Rafael: Angolan journalist and human rights activist who was imprisoned for his reporting on government corruption, and is currently going through a new trial.
S&D vice-president and spokesperson for the Sakharov Prize, Elena Valenciano, said:
"As repeatedly remarked during today's debate, all candidacies presented by Group members are well deserving of this award and it's always difficult to choose one over the others. However, it is true that the proposal to award this year's Sakharov prize to the NGOs defending human rights and saving lives in the Mediterranean has so far received majority support due to the defining moment Europe is facing in its history. We need to speak up in front of those who are using migration to tear our societies apart and to bring down the European project. The Sakharov prize is awarded on the account of ‘the defence of human rights’ and ‘the respect for international law’. These NGOs have been and are trying to do exactly that in the most difficult conditions on behalf of all European citizens for the sake of our values and principles."  
Note to editors:
Sakharov Prize is awarded every year by the European Parliament to human rights activists around the world. The vote on the three finalist candidates for the 2018 Sakharov Prize will take place in a joint meeting of the foreign affairs and development committees on October 9. The Conference of Presidents’ decision on the final laureate will be taken on October 25. The prize-award ceremony will take place on December 12, during the plenary session in Strasbourg.