Five Kenyan school girls among finalists for the Sakharov Prize 2019

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Five Kenyan students from Kisumu Girls High School, who developed a mobile app to help victims and potential victims of Female Genital Mutilation in dealing with the vice, have been nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The girls’ group dubbed ‘the Restorers’ is among five nominated finalists proposed for the annual Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political groups’ leaders). The Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize every year to honour exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Alexei Navalny, a Russian lawyer and political activist, is also among the five finalists. Marielle Franco, a Brazilian political activist and human rights defender who was brutally killed in March 2018, Claudelice Silva dos Santos, a Brazilian environmentalist and human rights defender and Chief Raoni, an emblematic figure of the fight against deforestation in the Amazon are also among the finalist for the awards. Franco, Dos Santos and Raoni make up the third cohort of finalists.  Ilham Tohti,an Uyghur economist fighting for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority andJean Wyllys, aBrazilian human rights defender, journalist, lecturer and politician round up the list of nominated finalists for the Sakharov award.

According to the European Parliament’s website, the Conference of Presidents will select three finalists from the nominees today (October 24/10/19). The Conference will then select the winner from the three finalists with the actual award ceremony being scheduled to take place at the European Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg on 18 December, 2019.

“Based on the official nominations, the foreign affairs and development committees vote on a shortlist of three finalists. Afterwards the Conference of Presidents – selects the laureate,” the European Parliament’s official website reads.

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