BRUSSELS: Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani teenage activist shot in the head by the Taliban last year for campaigning for better rights for girls, won the European Union’s annual human rights award on Thursday.
She beat fugitive US intelligence analyst and whistleblower Edward Snowden to the prize.
The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is given by the European Parliament each year since 1988 to commemorate Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.
Its past winners include Nelson Mandela and Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
Malala, 16, who was attacked in Pakistan’s northwestern area of Swat by a group of gunmen who fired on her school bus, is also a favourite among experts and betting agencies to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
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