10/10/2013, 00.00
EUROPEAN UNION - PAKISTAN
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Malala Yousafzai awarded the 2013 Sakharov Prize

Victim of a Taliban attack in 2012, the young Pakistani activist received the award because she represents "our hope for a better future."

Brussels (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Pakistani schoolgirl and rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai has won the European Union's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The 16-year-old activist was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago for campaigning for better rights for girls.

"Today, we decided to let the world know that our hope for a better future stands in young people like Malala Yousafzai," said Joseph Daul, head of the European People's Party (EPP).

Malala rose to prominence in 2009 when she was 12 after writing a blog anonymously for the BBC Urdu Service about her life under Taliban rule and the lack of education for girls.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded by the European Parliament annually in memory of Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Worth 50,000 euro (US$ 65,000), it is considered Europe's top human rights award. Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are among past laureates.

 

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