In the final list of applicants for the prestigious V. Sakharova – Alexei Navalny, Bolivian politician Janine Agnes and a group of Afghan human rights defenders (11 women).
Since voting is always secret, so as not to put pressure on the choice of voters, it is not known how many each candidate received. The Russian opposition leader was nominated for the Sakharov Prize by the Renewing Europe faction of the European Parliament with the wording “for courage in the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights.” Members of this faction call him “the main political opponent” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Guy Verhofstadt, former Prime Minister of Belgium and representative of the Renewing Europe faction, says:
“Alexei Navalny is fighting for everything the EU stands for in the world: democracy and the rule of law, truth and freedom. The struggle for values that we too often take for granted in his own country, Putin’s Russia, nearly cost him his life. Navalny has become a symbol of oppression in Russia, he is supported by many ordinary Russians who are afraid to voice their opinion and deserve support from the EU. “