BRUSSELS - The European Union's prize for human rights and freedom of thought was awarded to two Iranians on Friday, a lawyer and a filmmaker who have both been cut off from the outside world for defying the country's leadership.
Imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, 49, and filmmaker Jafar Panahi, 52, were awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for their courage in defending their own and others' basic freedoms, the parliament said.
Named in honor of Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the prize has been awarded by the European Parliament annually since 1988. The first recipients were Nelson Mandela and Russian author and dissident Anatoly Marchenko. Russian punk group Pussy Riot was also nominated this year.