22 October 2020
The ECR Group is delighted with the announcement that the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament has awarded the democratic opposition in Belarus with the 2020 Sakharov prize for freedom of thought. The democratic opposition in Belarus was the joint candidate of the EPP, S&D, Renew and ECR Group.
“Belarussian people won this year’s Sakharov prize. I am convinced without hesitation that they deserve it. We members of the European Parliament simply fulfil our obligation to stand by those who fight for freedom. I am really happy.” Highlighted Anna Fotyga, MEP and Foreign Affairs Committee Coordinator of the ECR Group.
This positive result sends a clear message of support and solidarity from the European Parliament to the people of Belarus, who have been protesting the falsified elections from 9 August 2020, after which Alexander Lukashenko claimed a sixth term as president. Despite facing intimidation and illegal detainment from Lukashenko and his authorities, the democratic opposition in Belarus has been determined to find a peaceful resolution to this crisis. The granting of this award also serves as recognition for their tremendous courage, strength and determination during such a time of hardship.
Commenting afterwards in the European Parliament, Anna Fotyga stated:
“I believe in the joint wisdom of people. If people want freedom and are dedicated to it, the only thing to do is stand by them and support them.
“My appeal to leaders of the democratic world - not only of the EU and its Member States, is for pressure to be exerted not only on Lukashenko, but that a clear message is sent to Moscow too. The democratic world does not recognise Lukashenko, he is illegitimate. We stand by the people of Belarus”.
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