Chinese civil rights activist wins EU Sakharov Prize
The European Parliament on Thursday awarded its prestigious Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia, a Chinese civil rights activist, rejecting warnings from Beijing, reported dpa.
Hu Jia was picked from a shortlist of candidates that also comprised Aleksandr Kozulin, a former presidential candidate in Belarus, and Apollinaire Malu Malu, who chairs the Independent Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The decision was designed to send a strong signal to China on the day in which European Union officials were meeting their Asian counterparts in Beijing.
Shortly before the announcement, the Chinese authorities reportedly sent a letter to the European Parliament cautioning it against choosing Hu Jia.
This year's award marks the 20th anniversary of the Sakharov Prize, which was first awarded in 1988 in honour of the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov.
Other past winners include Nelson Mandela and the UN.