The Sakharov Prize, the European Parliament and human rights worldwide

Laureates 2000 - 2005

¡Basta Ya! – 2000, Spain

¡Basta Ya! (‘enough is enough’) was a popular citizens’ initiative against terrorism and political violence in Spain’s Basque Country.

We are convinced that, when democracy is in danger, the citizens cannot hide behind their anonymity.

Fernando Savater


Dom Zacarias Kamwenho - 2001, Angola

Civil and religious leader Dom Zacarias Kamwenho inspired the Angolan people to stand up for their rights and played a critical role in the peace process that led to the end of the country’s civil war.

... break this never-ending cycle of war.


Nurit Peled-Elhanan – 2001, Israel

A university lecturer and author, is committed to changing the views of Israeli society towards Palestine. Her writing promotes tolerance, diversity and the right to education.


Izzat Ghazzawi – 2001, Palestine

Despite being imprisoned, censored and losing of his son, Izzat Ghazzawi was courageous in promoting the cause of peaceful dialogue and partnership between Israelis and Palestinians.


Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas - 2002, Cuba

As the founder of the Varela Project, Oswaldo Payá fought for civil rights, free pluralist elections, the release of political prisoners, and economic and social reform in Cuba.

This time we will carry out the changes by means of this civic movement which is already opening up a new stage in the history of Cuba, in which dialogue, democratic participation and solidarity will prevail. In that way we will build a true peace.


Kofi Annan and the staff of the United Nations – 2003, headquarters in New York, USA

As its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan led the UN to forge stronger ties with civil society in pursuit of its goals of peace, justice and human rights.

In its long history, Europe has seen more than its fair share of war, tyranny and terrible suffering. But Europeans have replaced that with a future of hope. You have pursued the path of peace through multilateralism. And today, the European Union is a shining light of tolerance, human rights, and international cooperation.


The Belarusian Association of Journalists - 2004, Belarus

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) was founded in 1995 to protect all journalists working under the threat of harassment, intimidation and persecution.

The prize is such an important signal for us because we understand our problems, but they are not just a matter of upholding our own professional principles. It is also about defending the rights of all our citizens to receive objective, uncensored information.

Zhanna Litvina


Damas de Blanco – 2005, Cuba

Despite constant repression, the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), also known as the Damas, stage weekly peaceful protest marches to demand democracy and the release of political dissidents in Cuba.


Hauwa Ibrahim - 2005, Nigeria

Human rights lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim defends women and children sentenced by Sharia courts in Nigeria. She advocates education for girls as the foundation of a peaceful society.


Reporters Without Borders – 2005, headquartered in France

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières – RSF), an international NGO, fights for freedom of information and freedom of expression, while also supporting persecuted journalists all over the world.

... as though double standards were being applied, as though some lives were worth more than others and as though there were some freedoms that affect us and others that do not. It is imperative that we put a stop to this way of thinking.

Robert Ménard