Jailed Russian politician Aleksei Navalny has won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European Parliament’s top human rights prize, sources tell RFE/RL.
The winner is to be officially announced later on October 20, with the award ceremony scheduled to take place in Strasbourg on December 15.
David McAllister, chairman of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, had earlier said the nomination of Navalny “recognizes and underscores the efforts of a courageous individual to stand up for democratic governance, the rule of law, civic freedoms, and the fight against corruption.”
Navalny was jailed in January after returning to Russia from Germany where he was treated for a poisoning he said was ordered by the Kremlin, a charge Moscow denies. Navalny was subsequently sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on a parole violation charge that he denounces as politically motivated.
The 50,000-euro Sakharov Prize, which recognizes human rights activists and dissidents around the world, is awarded annually in memory of Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
Last year, the prize was awarded to Belarus's democratic opposition that staged weeks of protests against Alyaksandr Lukashenka following a disputed presidential election that the strongman claimed to have won, but which the opposition and the West said was heavily rigged in his favor.