Award of the Sakharov Prize 2011:
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 14/12/2011 First transmission: 14/12/2011
- Interview with Ahmed El Senussi (Libya)
Also known as Zubeir Ahmed El-Sharif , this great-nephew of the last Libyan king and author of a failed coup d'état seems like an unlikely contender for a human rights prize, but his life and actions show how deceptive first impressions can be.
In the early 70s, shortly after a low-ranking Libyan officer staged a coup against King Idris, EL Senussi wanted to rid Libya of Gaddafi and offer the country the choice between restoring the monarchy or installing a republic. But the coup failed and he was sentenced to death. For 18 years he received no visitors and the first nine years in prison were marked by solitary confinement and torture. The windows of his cell were blocked; he didn't see sunlight for years.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France (1 shot)
||SOUNDBITE (Arabic): Ahmed EL SENUSSI, Libya, (Laureat of the Sakharov Prize 2011): "I'm extremely happy to have won this year's Sakharov Prize, it means a lot to me. It me means actually a lot to many people, to those who are still fighting in their countries for liberty and freedom, so I'm really very, very happy. And I hope that it will be for the benefit of those people who are still struggling in order to free their country of dictatorship. I thank the European Parliament for giving me this prize and for including other Human Rights defenders of other Arab Spring countries, this is a very good beginning. We hope this will help and support other countries in the region on their path so that they can follow."
||SOUNDBITE (Arabic): Ahmed EL SENUSSI, Libya, (Laureat of the Sakharov Prize 2011): "Since the end of the regime we have been fighting for Human Rights and democracy. We are going to appal these principles in our new government for those workers who used to work in Libya, after the war most of them went back and we are welcoming anybody who would like to come and who will help us to rebuild the country. For those who fought on the side of Gaddafi, the mercenaries, of course if we find them we put them on trial, they will have a correct trial, because now are trying to build a democratic and free country and we don't want to be like Gaddafi, who was a dictator. We are trying to build a country of rule of law and we will respect that very much. We will welcome everybody and we are going to up hold the principles of Human Rights and we will build a state of law."
||SOUNDBITE (Arabic): Ahmed EL SENUSSI, Libya, (Laureat of the Sakharov Prize 2011): "(on Syria) - What is happening in Syria is heartbreaking, because there are massacres, 1000 of people were killed and what is happening there is even worse then what happened in Libya and what happened in Iraq under the Saddam regime, but the Syrians I think are not any more fearful of this regime and they will try to bring it down, they will do everything they can, they need help of course and I think the International Community in general can help them through the mass media just in exposing what is going on in Syria and to help them may be morally. I think people have just overcome that moment of being scared and then they not scared anymore, so they are prepared to fight and they will do everything they can in order to get a new democratic regime, but they need the International help and people should try to provide that help, through the mass media in telling the people what is going on exactly in the final goal to help these people to bring down this dictator. "
||SOUNDBITE (Arabic): Ahmed EL SENUSSI, Libya, (Laureat of the Sakharov Prize 2011):