ECR Group nominates Bolivian ex-interim President Jeanine Áñez for Sakharov Prize

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament has nominated Jeanine Áñez for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Ms Áñez, a conservative politician, was interim President of Bolivia after Evo Morales’ electoral fraud was uncovered in 2019 and imprisoned on political grounds after the October 2020 elections.

ECR Group Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto said:

“With the nomination of Ms Áñez, the ECR Group wants to denounce the undemocratic practices that extreme left regimes in Latin America are using against opposition forces. The European Union should feel obligated to free political prisoners and to help to re-establish democratic principles and the rule of law.

“We hope that the European Union will send a strong message of support to the democratic forces and dissidents in Bolivia.”

Spanish ECR MEP Hermann Tertsch who nominated Ms Áñez said:

“The imprisoning of Ms Áñez represents a clear violation of democratic values, a break of the rule of law and disrespect for human rights, as well as a breach of the principle of effective judicial protection.

“Six months have passed since narco-communist forces preventively imprisoned Jeanine Áñez in the Miraflores prison in La Paz. She is suffering from mistreatment and intimidation, and being forced to take medication, presenting a seriously deteriorating psychological condition. The Bolivian authorities have announced that they will extend Ms Áñez’s pre-trial detention for a further six months.”

Tertsch also recalled that Ms Áñez tried to take her own life on 21 August due to the inhumane and degrading treatment she is receiving.

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