The political prisoner Ales Beliatski, the chairman of the human rights organization “Vesna” (Spring) was nominated for the Sakharov Prize.
On October 24, 2011, Mr. Belyatski was sentenced to 4,5 years in prison on an alleged charge of tax evasion. Later he was recognized as a prisoner of conscience by the human rights organization Amnesty International.
For the Sakharov Prize human rights defender was nominated by member of European Parliament Jacek Saryusz-Wolski together with 82 MEPs for the freedom of though.
In the nominee list there is also the founder of the center for victims of Pakistani blasphemy laws Joseph Francis, opposition political prisoners from Rwanda Victoire Ingabir Umoza, Deogratias Mushaidi and Bernar Ntaganda, russian band Pussi Riot, and also attorney Nasrin Sotude and film director Jafar Panay from Iran.
Representatives of Belarus were awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2004. They are Belorussian Association of Journalists, and ex-presidential candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich.