Last week in Strasbourg the President of the EU Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, handed Sergei Kovalev, Oleg Orlov, Lyudmila Alexeyeva of the Memorial human rights organization a check for 50,000 euros and presented them with the EU’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Buzek left no doubt about the meaning of the ceremony:
“Human rights defenders in Russia are awaiting liberty. They are waiting for European Union support, and we are awarding this prize today to all Russian citizens. With this prize we members of the European Parliament honor those who still among us fight for human rights. But we also honor those who lost their lives in this valiant struggle. Natalya Estemirova should have been among us today.”
We congratulate these great Russian patriots on their heroic efforts to bring civilization and democracy to Russia at the risk of their own lives, and we condemn the craven cowards who prowl the Kremlin and seek ways to liquidate them, just as was done in Soviet times. We also congratulate the EU for making a clear stand against dictatorship and state-sponsored murder in Russia. The photograph above will surely give the KGB spies in the Kremlin many sleepless nights of well-deserved fury.