STRASBOURG, France, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Activists, opposition representatives and a punk rock group are among the nominees for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European Parliament said.
Nominees include an activist from Belarus, the director of a center that provides legal aid to victims of Pakistan's blasphemy laws, three Rwandan opposition representatives, a Russian feminist punk rock band, an Iranian lawyer and an Iranian filmmaker, the European Parliament said Tuesday on its website.
The list was narrowed Tuesday.
Nominees are made by political groups or at least 40 members of the European Parliament.
The winner will be announced Dec. 12 during a ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The prize is about $64,000.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought recognizes individuals who fight intolerance, fanaticism and oppression to defend human rights and freedom of expression, the legislative body said. It is named in honor of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, and has been awarded annually since 1988.
In 2011, the prize went to five representatives of the Arab Spring in recognition and support of their drive for freedom and human rights.
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