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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-10-11 16:18:41
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EU awards top human rights award to Malala

October 11, 2013 - European lawmakers awarded their top human rights prize on Thursday to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who last year survived a Taliban assassination attempt because of her outspoken support for girls' education. “The European Parliament acknowledges the incredible strength of this young woman,'' said Martin Schulz, the president of the EU legislature, announcing the winner of the 2013 Sakharov Award, worth €50,000 ($65,000). “Malala bravely stands for the right of all children to be granted a fair education,” Schulz noted, adding, “This right for girls is far too commonly neglected.'' Europe's three major political groups had nominated the schoolgirl in a show of united support for her cause. The Taliban targeted Malala in a shooting Oct. 9, 2012, because of her outspoken objection to the group's interpretation of Islam that keeps women at home and bars girls from school. Militants still threaten to kill her if she returns home. After Malala was shot in the face, she was taken for special treatment to a hospital in Birmingham, England. She gradually regained her sight and her voice and was reunited with her parents.
U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and a group of imprisoned Belarus dissidents were also in the running for the prestigious Sakharov Award. Previous winners include Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. The award came a day ahead of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Malala was also a contender.


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