A Saudi blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Muslim clerics has won the European Union's prestigious Sakharov Prize for human rights.

EU lawmakers said Thursday that Raif Badawi was honored with the award as a symbol of the fight for freedom of speech after a vote. The prize was to be announced publicly later in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

The freedom of thought award is named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. It was set up in 1988 to honor people and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Badawi was one of three nominees for the prize, along with the Venezuelan opposition movement Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, and assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.