STRASBOURG — The far-right political group in the European Parliament has nominated tech billionaire Elon Musk for Europe’s top human rights prize.
The Identity and Democracy (ID) group, which includes members of the European Parliament linked to France’s Marine Le Pen and Italy’s Matteo Salvini, proposed the name of Elon Musk, according to a document sent to MEPs on September 14 and consulted by POLITICO. An ID official confirmed to POLITICO its decision to appoint Musk.
ID cited Musk’s decision to release the so-called Twitter files, which consisted of a selection of internal documents about how the social media platform handled requests to remove political posts. This amounts to a defense of the principle of freedom of expression, ID argued.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has an endowment of 50,000 euros. Last year it was awarded to the people of Ukraine. Past winners include Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and Kofi Annan.
It is very unlikely that Elon Musk will receive this distinction since the President of Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the leaders of all political groups will jointly decide the winner later this year.
The three largest groups – the center-right EPP, the center-left S&D and the liberal Renew – have all agreed to nominate Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman whose death at the hands of police sparked a rights movement women across Iran.
The Greens nominated Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate, while the right-wing group ECR nominated Nino Lomjaria, a public defender in Georgia who has resisted Russian interference. The left proposed three women’s rights activists.