10 October 2013 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomed the European Parliament’s decision to award its prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old girl who was shot last year by members of the Taliban in Pakistan for simply going to school.
Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, said: “The European Parliament has rightly chosen to honour the courageous efforts of Malala Yousafzai as she continues to stand-up to religious intolerance, hatred and violence in Pakistan and beyond. Yousafzai’s tragic story is now a source of inspiration to all. While the Taliban sought to silence Malala, her voice for freedom has only gotten stronger. I hope the Sakharov Prize further amplifies her critical message. Following last year’s award to Iranian human rights activists Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi, the European Parliament is clearly voicing its outrage against those who use religion as a vehicle for oppression – whether in Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere. Such ideologies represent, perhaps, the greatest threat to personal freedoms and democracy today and the EP is rightly and forcefully standing up to them. Well done.”