The European Parliament awarded representatives of Belarus' opposition movement and its leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in Brussels on Thursday.
«I would like to congratulate the representatives of the Belarusian opposition, for their courage, their resilience, their determination,» said European Parliament President David Sassoli. «What sustains them is something that violence can never defeat: the truth.»
«As our admiration for the Belarusian population grows, so does our dismay. Our dismay at Lukashenko's violent reprisals, his acts of torture, his denial of the truth,» Sassoli said.
Belarus has been swept by anti-government protests after incumbent President Lukashenko was re-elected for a sixth term in August.
The Sakharov Prize was established in 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals and groups defending human rights.
Previous winners of the award include former South African president Nelson Mandela.