The European Parliament has rejected the nomination of the owner of X, Elon Musk, for its prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
Instead, the lawmakers have shortlisted three candidates, including Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd who died in police custody after being arrested by Iran’s morality police.
Amini’s death sparked a nationwide uprising against the Iranian regime, known as the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. The other two finalists are a pair of Nicaraguan human rights defenders and a trio of women fighting for abortion rights in different countries.
The winner will be announced on October 19 and will receive a 50,000-euro award.
Musk, who bought and renamed Twitter as X, had been proposed by a small far-right group in the parliament. He claims to be a “free-speech absolutist” and has clashed with the European Commission over the spread of disinformation on X following the Hamas attack on Israel last weekend.
X says it has taken action to remove or label “tens of thousands” of misleading or false posts.
The Sakharov Prize is named after Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. It was established in 1988 to honour individuals and groups who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Alexei Navalny and the United Nations. Last year, the prize went to the Ukrainian people for resisting Russia’s aggression.