European Parliament: Sakharov Prize to Alexei Navalny and nomination of Afghan Women celebrate courage in human rights struggle

20 Oct, 2021 | Press Releases

European Parliament, 20 October 2021

No Peace Without Justice congratulates Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny for being awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for 2021. This award recognises Mr Navalny’s courage in standing up for human rights, democracy and freedom and encourages us all as individuals to keep fighting the good fight. We urge the Russian authorities to release Mr Navalny so he may be awarded this important prize in person in Strasbourg next December.

At the same time, we highlight that the nomination of the collective of 11 Afghan women and their inclusion on the shortlist for the prize recognises and celebrates the resistance and resilience of Afghan women in the face of the increasing violations and restrictions of their fundamental rights and freedoms since the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban last August.

A generation of Afghan women has grown up listening to their mother’s stories about the Taliban regime of the early 2000’s while enjoying freedoms denied during those times; they cannot now accept to see their rights violated as the rights of their mother were. Thus, we welcome that the collective of Afghan women covers multiple generations, including women who fought the restrictions of the first Taliban regime, those who led the advancement of women’s rights in the past twenty years, and those who will still have to carry the fight into the future. We also appreciate the inclusiveness of the collective as far geographical areas and Afghan ethnical groups are concerned.

The nomination is a display of the commitment of the European Parliament to not abandon Afghan women to face alone the increasingly dire human rights situation. It demonstrates the Parliament’s commitment to remain vigilant about what is happening in the country. Now more than ever, women, children and minorities are in great danger and we must ensure that the European Union does not lose interest in what is happening in Afghanistan. 

NPWJ congratulates Mr Navalny, Afghan women and all those nominated for the Sakharov prize for their courage, resilience and determination. They have stood and still stay strong in the face of regimes that are against them. The whole of Europe is with you: we are by your side.

For further information, please contact Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator on