There were three winners of the award, which is named after the late Andrei Sakahrov, the Soviet Union's most celebrated human rights champion.
The prize committee recognized two organizations for their work: Reporters Without Borders, an international non-government organization defending journalists and the freedom of the press, and Cuba's Women in White movement, which comprises wives and family members of dissidents imprisoned under Fidel Castro. In addition, Nigerian lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim, who came to the world's attention for defending local women sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery, was also honored.
Nelson Mandela was the first person to win the Sakharov Prize after it was instituted in 1988. Last year, the Sakharov Award went to the Association of Belarusian Journalists.