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article imageEU shortlists Russia's Nemtsov for rights prize

By AFP     Oct 15, 2015 in World

The European Parliament on Thursday shortlisted assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi and the Venezuelan opposition for its Sakharov human rights prize.

The prize -- to be decided on October 29 and awarded at a ceremony in Strasbourg on December 16 -- is given every year to honour individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression.

The three finalists were decided by European lawmakers on Wednesday.

Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former deputy prime minister turned critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on a bridge just steps from the Kremlin in late February.

A Saudi Arabian court sentenced Badawi, 31, to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail last year for insulting Islam but halted the whippings after a first round of 50 lashes.

Also listed was the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica which represents political prisoners and opposition groups in Venezuela.

Last year, the Parliament awarded the prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for helping victims of gang rapes by soldiers.

Past winners include Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, late South African rights icon Nelson Mandela and Myanmar activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

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