A group of women opposition activists from Cuba called the Ladies in White will be in Brussels to collect the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought today.
The women were awarded the prize in 2005 for their efforts to raise awareness of the treatment of dissenters in Cuba, but were not permitted to leave the country. With the end of an embargo on exit permits in January, the Ladies in White will finally be able to collect their prize.
The Ladies in White began in 2003 when 75 activists were jailed in an attempt to curb opposition to the regime. The women close to the activists decided to dress in white and march silently on the Cuban capital every Sunday for the release of the 75 jailed activists. The Ladies in White often face detention and arrest themselves due to a ban on street demonstrations. Though all 75 activists have been released, the Ladies in White still march to have their sentences overturned as well as to draw attention to other opposition activists still in jail.