Two Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar have been selected for European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Human Rights for year 2016.
Both of them were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women who were abducted by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and forced into sexual slavery in 2014. But both survived and had escaped sexual enslavement. Now they campaign for the Yazidi community.
They also have become figureheads for effort to protect Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion with more than half a million believers concentrated in northern Iraq.
About Sakharov Prize
- The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is annual award given by the European Parliament.
- It is bestowed on individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.
- It was established in December 1988 and is named after Soviet scientist (physicist) and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
- The first prize was jointly awarded to Nelson Mandela and Russian human rights campaigner Anatoly Marchenko.
- It is awarded annually on or around December 10 (also celebrated as Human Rights Day), day on which UN General Assembly ratified Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.