Group withdraws its candidature for 2014 Sakharov Prize
GUE/NGL Group President Gabi Zimmer on the 2014 Sakharov Prize:
As in previous years, our group put forward candidates for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize. This year we proposed three bloggers who were victims of repression in their respective countries because they had expressed their opinions and were therefore symbolic of violations of freedom of expression.
It emerges that one of the bloggers we proposed, Alaa Abdel Fatah who was a victim of repression in Egypt and jailed several times, called for the murder „of a critical number of Israelis“ in a tweet in 2012. We did not avail of this information when we put forward his candidacy.
Needless to say, we cannot and will not tolerate such behaviour. This call goes against all our principles as well as the criteria for nomination for the Sakharov Prize. Our group has always favoured debate and political confrontation between peoples, including the Israeli people.
It is in this context that our group has decided to withdraw its proposal.