Exiled Turkish journalist shortlisted for top EU rights prize

Can Dundar, an exiled Turkish journalist who was sentenced to jail for publishing information about arms shipments to Syria, was shortlisted Tuesday for the European Parliament's 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The 50,000-euro (55,850-dollar) award, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, has been handed out since 1988. It honours people who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Dundar was tapped alongside three others. One was Crimean Tartar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev. The others were two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State extremist group: Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar.

This year's award winner will be announced on October 27.

Previous recipients include former South African president Nelson Mandela and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Last year's prize went to Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger who was jailed and lashed after being found guilty of insulting Islam.

Dundar, who was criticized by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his reporting at the Cumhuriyet newspaper, fled his homeland after facing trial.

He now lives in exile in Germany, where he plans to set up a new media outlet in response to a clampdown on journalists in Turkey.

Dzhemilev, a human rights activist and the former chair of the Tartar parliament in Crimea, has been barred from entering the Ukrainian peninsula since its annexation by Russia, according to the EU legislature.

Murad and Aji, meanwhile, stem from an Iraqi village taken over by the Islamic State in 2014, and are among the thousands of Yazidi girls and women forced into sex slavery by the extremist group, the parliament said in a statement.

Last update: Tue, 11/10/2016 - 18:53
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