Human Rights

Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas wins Sakharov prize

The Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez at Generation Y has a nice tribute to Guillermo Fariñas, winner of the 2010 Sakharov prize from the European Parliament.

A former member of an Interior Ministry paramilitary unit who fought in Angola, he broke with the government after the 1989 execution of Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa on drug smuggling charges. He has been jailed three times and staged two dozen earlier hunger strikes to protest various government actions.

The European parliament awarded the prize, named after the late Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov, to Cuban activist Oswaldo Payá in 2002 and in 2005 to the Ladies in White — female relatives of political prisoners.

Fariñas ended a 135-day hunger strike in July after the Cuban government agreed to free 52 political prisoners.