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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Politkovskaya is on Shortlist for EU Rights Award

BRUSSELS -- Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist and Kremlin critic shot dead last year, is among the candidates for the European Union's human rights award for 2007, according to a list of nominees to be published Tuesday.

The other four nominees for the Sakharov Prize are Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of the Orthodox Church; Chinese human rights defenders Zeng Jinyan and Hu Jia; Afghan women's rights defender Joya Malalai; and Sudanese human rights attorney Salih Mahmoud Osman, according to the list obtained by The Associated Press on Monday.

A shortlist of three candidates will be drawn up by the European Parliament's foreign affairs and development committees Sept. 24, and the winner will be picked by the leaders of the assembly's political groups Oct. 25.

Belarussian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich won the award -- and the 50,000 euro ($68,500) check that goes with it -- last year.

The Sakharov Prize, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, is awarded annually to a person or group judged to have made a particular achievement in the field of human rights, protecting minorities, defense of international cooperation or promotion of democracy and the rule of law.

Politkovskaya, who wrote scathingly of President Vladimir Putin and atrocities in Chechnya, was gunned down in a contract-style killing Oct. 7, the 13th journalist killed since Putin took office in 2000. Prosecutors said last month that they had arrested 10 suspects linked to a Moscow crime group suspected of carrying out the murder. Several of the suspects have since been freed due to a lack of evidence.