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Iraqi Christian priest nominated for Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize was founded in 1988 by the European Parliament to honour individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought. This year, an Iraqi Christian priest was also nominated for his resistance against the Islamic State and saving hundreds of manuscripts.


The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul,  Mgr Najeeb Moussa Michaeel, has been nominated for the Sakharov Prize for his work to preserve hundreds of historic manuscripts from destruction by the Islamic State in 2014.

He has worked since 1990 to preserve manuscripts and other historical documents from the Mosul area.

He is among the five nominees who are probable winners of the prize. On the online page of the European Parliament we can discover the following about his nomination:

“When the Islamic State arrived in Mosul in August 2014, Mgr Najeeb Moussa Michaeel, Archbishop of Mosul, ensured the evacuation of Christians, Syriacs and Chaldeans to Iraqi Kurdistan and safeguarded more than 800 historic manuscripts dating from the 13th to the 19th century. These manuscripts were later digitised and exhibited in France and Italy. Since 1990 he has contributed to safeguarding 8,000 more manuscripts and 35,000 documents from the Eastern Church.” 

The four other nominees are the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council, an initiative of brave women and political and civil society figures; Guapinol activists and Berta Caceres in Honduras; The democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by Sviatlana Tsikhanouska; and Polish LGBTI activists Jakub Gawron, Paulina Pajak, Paweł Preneta and Kamil Maczuga, founders of the website Atlas of Hate.


Source: Aleteia, Matters India

Photo: Matters India

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