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Magnum Photos for the 30th anniversary of the Sakharov Prize

They defend our freedoms


Since 1988 the European Parliament has been awarding the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to individuals and organisations that have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the prize, the European Parliament, together with Magnum Photos, presents a new documentary project that profiles four human rights activists from around the world. They Defend our Freedoms – 30 years of the Sakharov Prize gives a voice to these unsung heroes, presenting an immersive journey into their daily lives as seen through the diverse perspectives of Magnum photographers.

Jérôme Sessini travelled to remote Cambodian villages with activist Samrith Vaing, documenting the life of indigenous minorities contending with forced eviction. Asma Kaouech, a young Tunisian activist photographed by Newsha Tavakolian, who tries to prevent teenagers from becoming radicalized. In Ethiopia, lawyer Ameha Mekonnen, photographed by Enri Canaj, advocates for journalists facing censorship from government authorities. In Bosnia, Bieke Depoorter accompanied former Balkan War refugee Jadranka Miličević in her effort to empower women.

Land Rights of Minorities in Cambodia
Jérôme Sessini

Fighting Youth Radicalization in Tunisia
Newsha Tavakolian

Freedom of Speech for Ethiopians
Enri Canaj

Women Empowerment in Bosnia
Bieke Depoorter