Europe

EU lawmakers: 2 Yazidi women win EU human rights prize

  • COMBO - this combination of two file photos shows Iraqi Yazidis Nadia Murad Basee, left, and Lamiya Aji Bashar, right, who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people who have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, says Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, Balint Szlanko, File)

    COMBO - this combination of two file photos shows Iraqi Yazidis Nadia Murad Basee, left, and Lamiya Aji Bashar, right, who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people who have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, says Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, Balint Szlanko, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2015 file photo, Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad Basee, center, is welcomed by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, right, before their meeting in Athens. Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, says Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality." (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2015 file photo, Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad Basee, center, is welcomed by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, right, before their meeting in Athens. Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, says Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality." (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 5, 2016 file photo, Lamiya Aji Bashar, an 18-year-old Yazidi girl who escaped her Islamic State group enslavers, talks to The Associated Press in northern Iraq. Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, says Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality."(AP Photo/Balint Szlanko, File)

    FILE - In this May 5, 2016 file photo, Lamiya Aji Bashar, an 18-year-old Yazidi girl who escaped her Islamic State group enslavers, talks to The Associated Press in northern Iraq. Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, says Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality."(AP Photo/Balint Szlanko, File)  (The Associated Press)

Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by the Islamic State before escaping and becoming advocates for their people have won the EU's Sakharov Prize for human rights.

Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal ALDE group, said Thursday that Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Ashar were "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality. I am proud that they have been awarded the 2016 Sakharov Prize."

Among the finalists were the Crimean Tatars and a former Turkish newspaper editor.

The award, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was created in 1988 to honor individuals or groups who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. Last year's winner was Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.