Slain council woman, 2 other Brazilians listed for Sakharov Prize

Marielle Franco, a Brazilian politician, feminist, and human rights activist, who was assassinated on 14 March 2018 is among three Brazilians listed for this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, awarded for exceptional achievements in human rights.

Franco was known for her work related to the rights of minorities and impoverished favela residents.

The two other Brazilians known for defending the Amazon and indigenous and environmental rights were also shortlisted. These are native Brazilian leader and environmentalist Chief Raoni and Brazilian environmentalist and human rights defender Claudelice Silva dos Santos.

Other finalists include a group of five Kenyan women Stacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng, Mascrine Atieno and Ivy Akinyi, all aged between 17 and 19 years old, were also shortlisted. The group developed i-Cut, an app to help young women women seek help, find a rescue center or report female genital mutilation procedure to the relevant authorities and launched it through an organisation they called The Restorers.

Also short-listed is Uyghur Ilham Tohti, an economist fighting for the rights of his people in China.

The final laureate will be selected on 24 October during the Conference of Presidents at the European Parliament. The prize will be awarded during a ceremony which will be held on 18 December in Strasbourg.

Last year, the prize was given to the Ukrainian film director Oleg Senstov.

It is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov and the prize money is €50,000.