Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ethiopian, Cuban, Israelis front-runners for EU rights prize

Birtukan, 36, a former judge and single mother who heads the Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), spent most of the past five years in jail before being freed earlier this month. Had she been allowed to take part in elections in May, analysts say Birtukan would likely have presented the most serious challenge to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Sometimes compared to Nobel peace prize laureate Suu Kyi, Birtukan was freed the day after she was nominated for the Sakharov Prize. The 48-year-old journalist and psychologist has often used hunger strikes, putting his health at risk, as a weapon to try to achieve greater freedoms in the Communist island. Farinas fasted for 135 days earlier this year, a protest that left him near death but compelled the Cuban government to agree to release 52 political prisoners. Read more...

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