Sakharov Prize 2019: book your interview slot

The award ceremony for this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, conferred to Uyghur human rights activist Ilham Tohti, will be held on 18 December.

The ceremony will take place at noon in the European Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg.

As Mr Tohti is in prison in China, you can book an interview slot with his representative – his daughter Jewher Ilham – by sending an email to and by Monday 9 December at 12.00 CET at the latest.

Please note that requests cannot be guaranteed and will be confirmed only on Friday 13 December, not earlier.

Information on the language combination

Interpretation in French will be available for interviews with Ms Ilham, who will speak in English. Journalists who wish to have interpretation from English to French must inform the EP Press Service in advance if they need such assistance, so that slots can be assigned with French interpretation.

Ilham Tohti, 2019 Sakharov Prize laureate

Imprisoned Uyghur economist and human rights activist Ilham Tohti is this year’s Sakharov Prize laureate, following a decision by European Parliament President David Sassoli and the political groups’ leaders on 24 October. Mr Tohti is currently serving a life sentence in China on separatism-related charges.

The other finalists this year were:

  • Murdered Brazilian political activist and human rights defender Marielle Franco, Native Brazilian leader and environmentalist Chief Raoni and Brazilian environmentalist and human rights defender Claudelice Silva dos Santos,
  • The Restorers, a group of five students from Kenya – Stacy Owino, Cynthia Otieno, Purity Achieng, Mascrine Atieno and Ivy Akinyi – who have developed i-Cut, an app to help those affected by female genital mutilation.