Two Sakharov Laureates had been banned from travelling to Brussels to join the 30th anniversary of the Sakharov Prize.
In this context, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), and EP Vice-President Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA, FI), stated:
“The presence in the European Parliament of the Sakharov Prize Laureates is always a moment of both emotion and responsibility. We pay tribute to their unshakable commitment to defend fundamental freedoms and human dignity.
Unfortunately two former laureates, Ms Berta Soler (Ladies in White, Cuba 2005) and Ms Asmaa Mahfouz (Arab Spring, Egypt 2012) were banned from travelling by their respective authorities. We strongly condemn such a decision which illustrates once again the ongoing crackdown by the Cuban authorities against the Ladies in White and the dire situation of Egyptian human rights defenders.
The EP remains committed to keep human rights at the top of its agenda in times when space for civil society organisations is shrinking, regimes are tightening their grip over civil liberties, and dissent voices are increasingly silenced”.