- Title: Jailed Belarusian protest leader Kolesnikova wins European rights award
- Date: 27th September 2021
- Summary: INTERNET (FILE - SEPTEMBER 6, 2021) (REUTERS) (MUTE) SCREENGRAB OF TWITTER POST BY TSIKHANOUSKAYA REGARDING COURT VERDICT
- Embargoed: 11th October 2021 14:32
- Keywords: Alexander Lukashenko Belarus opposition Belarus protests Maria Kolesnkova Nobel Prize
- Location: STRASBOURG, FRANCE / MINSK, BELARUS / UNKNOWN LOCATION / INTERNET
- City: STRASBOURG, FRANCE / MINSK, BELARUS / UNKNOWN LOCATION / INTERNET
- Country: Belarus
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA008EWHWSAV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Jailed Belarusian opposition leader and activist Maria Kolesnikova on Monday (September 27) won the ninth Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize which honours outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights.
The â‚¬60,000 prize was presented on the first day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
Kolesnikova's sister Tatsiana Khomich received the award on her behalf. In September Kolesnikova was sentenced to 11 years in prison for her political activity, leading to an outcry from Western countries.
Kolesnikova, 39, was one of the leaders of mass street protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko last year, together with Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya and Veronika Tsepkalo.
The three women, all political novices, joined forces to front last year's election campaign against Lukashenko after higher-profile male candidates were barred from standing.
Lukashenko faced the biggest protests of his 27-year rule last year but weathered them with support from Russia.
The prize, named after the late president of the Czech Republic, "celebrates those who, with bravery and ingenuity, unmask the lie of dictatorship by living in truth," according to the foundation's website.
(Production: Maria Vasilyeva, Yuri Bakhnov)
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