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Suu Kyi to claim EU Sakharov prize 23 years after award

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is to finally receive the EU Sakharov human rights prize she won in 1990 at the height of the Myanmar military crackdown, the European Parliament revealed Wednesday.

Suu Kyi, now leader of the opposition in Myanmar and aiming to run in presidential polls in 2015, is due to address MEPs on October 22, according to the Parliament's schedule.

She won the Sakharov Prize in 1990 as the military ignored elections won by her National League for Democracy party after a bloody popular uprising was suppressed.

The military put Suu Kyi under house arrest for long periods and she was only freed in 2010, having insisted all the while on the need for reform and democracy in Myanmar.

Past winners of the prestigious 50,000-euro ($65,000) Sakharov prize include South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

This year, the European Parliament has shortlisted US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, Pakistan girls' education campaigner Malala Yousafzai and three jailed Belarussian dissidents.

In July, Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas came to Strasbourg to collect his Sakharov prize more than two years after winning.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131009/suu-kyi-claim-eu-sakharov-prize-23-years-after-award