Political intrigue clouds EU Sakharov award
Rahvusvahelised uudised 25 Oct 2010  EWR
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Andrew Willis

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas, the winner of the 2010 Sakharov Prize, the European Parliament's prestigious human rights laurel, has impeccable credentials as a long-committed fighter against repression in his country.

But behind-the-scenes manoeuvring by the political groups within the assembly over who was to get the award has left a bitter aftertaste for some.

"For the third time in a decade it's a Cuban. It's too much. It's a political decision that undermines the award," French far-left MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat said after the decision was announced on Thursday (21 October). Cuban candidates also picked up the prize in 2002 and 2005.

The Farinas award was pushed through by the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) and the anti-federalist European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

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