Freedom of thought is a basic principle of the EU. In some parts of the world this freedom does not exist.
This is why the European Parliament each year awards the Sakharov Prize to people or organizations fighting to protect freedom of thought and expression against repression, fanaticism and intolerance. To reinforce its campaign for freedom and contribute to the struggle of this year's winner, Aliaksandr Milinkevich, Parliament has produced a video, available in 22 languages. The European Parliament has awarded the 2006 Sakharov Prize to Aliaksandr Milinkevich, the leader of the opposition in Belarus.
Milinkevich has been arrested several times since he led two weeks of street protests against the outcome of presidential elections. Incumbent president Lukashenko was declared the winner, but the elections were rejected by opposition activists, and condemned by the European Parliament as not meeting international standards, a view shared by the OSCE. Milinkevich will receive the Sakharov Prize at a formal session of the European Parliament on 12 December in Strasbourg. (EP-Press)