Sakharov Walk of Freedom: inauguration ceremony

The European Parliament will inaugurate the ”Sakharov Walk of Freedom” on the Solidarność Esplanade in Brussels on Tuesday 10 December at 14.30.

The ”Sakharov Walk of Freedom” consists of 43 ceramic-based tiles arranged on the Solidarność Esplanade outside the European Parliament in Brussels, with short texts inscribed on them in English about all the Sakharov Prize laureates. The Walk will link the European Parliament Atrium visitors’ facilities with the Solidarność Esplanade and the Parliamentarium museum.

The tiles will be arranged chronologically, starting with the inauguration tile and then going from 1988, when the Sakharov Prize was first awarded, in a circle towards 2019.

Address by Sakharov Prize laureate Lorent Saleh

The inauguration ceremony will be opened with a speech by European Parliament President David Sassoli, followed by a statement from Sakharov Prize laureate Lorent Saleh, who received the prize in 2017 as part of the democratic opposition of Venezuela. This will be followed by the unveiling of the inauguration tile, photo opportunities and a walk through the tiles by invited guests and VIPs.

Book an interview

You can book an interview with Mr Saleh by sending an email to and by Wednesday 4 December at 17.00 at the latest. Please note that requests will be confirmed only on Friday 6 December, not earlier.

WHEN: Tuesday 10 December, 14.30 -15.00.

WHERE: If there is good weather, the whole ceremony will take place outside on the Solidarność Esplanade. If the weather is bad, the speeches will be held inside the Atrium visitors’ facilities, with the rest of the inauguration ceremony taking place outside.

European Parliament media accreditation rules.


The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year by the European Parliament. It was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is named in honour of Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov and the prize money is 50 000 euros.

The 2019 edition of the prize has been awarded to Uyghur economist and human rights defender Ilham Tohti, currently serving a life sentence in China on separatism-related charges.