SCM: Razan Zeitounah and Ali Ferzat among the Five Winners of the European Parliament Prize for Freedom of Thought – “Sakharov”

The European Parliament chose this year to honor Arab World revolutions by awarding its ‘Sakharov’ Prize for Freedom of Thought to five activists from Arab countries in revolt.

From Syria, the prize went to the 34 year-old human rights activist and lawyer Razan Zeitounah, who was recently awarded the “Anna Politkovskaya” prize for 2011. Also awarded the Syrian political satirist Ali Ferzat, whose cartoons are especially critical of the Syrian authorities, and supportive of the Syrian uprising. He was severely beaten and both hands were crushed and broken.

The European Parliament also awarded the Tunisian citizen Mohamed Al-Bouazizi whose death from self-immolation triggered the chain of popular uprisings across the Arab World. His award was perhaps the most notable one since awards do not usually celebrate the dead.

Egypt was represented by the Egyptian activist Azma’ Mahfouz, one of the founders of April 6th. Youth Movement that called to protest at Tahrir Square on January 25th.  

Libya on the other hand was represented by the 77 year-old Ahmed Zubair Ahmed Al-Sanusi, a prominent opposition figure who spent 31 years in Muammar Gaddafi’s jails.

On this occasion, The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression congratulates the five winners and hopes that the end of tyranny and violations of human rights shall soon be celebrated.