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Slain Councilwoman, 2 Other Brazilians Listed for EU Prize

Tuesday Oct 8, 2019
A woman wears a T-shirt designed with an image of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco during a memorial Mass to mark the one-year anniversary of her death, at the Candelaria Catholic Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A woman wears a T-shirt designed with an image of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco during a memorial Mass to mark the one-year anniversary of her death, at the Candelaria Catholic Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Source:AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

A Brazilian city councilwoman who campaigned for Afro-Brazilian and LGBT rights before she was gunned down last year has been shortlisted for the European Union's top human rights prize.

European Parliament lawmakers voted Tuesday to select Marielle Franco as a finalist for the Sakharov Prize. The Rio de Janeiro councilwoman and her driver were killed in March 2018 under unclear circumstances, although two officers were arrested. Franco's activism included fighting police abuse.

Two other Brazilians made the Sakharov Prize cut: native Brazilian leader Chief Raoni, and environmentalist Claudelice Silva dos Santos.

Rounding out the shortlist are economist Ilham Tohti for defending the rights of China's Uyghur minority, and five Kenyan students known as The Restorers who developed an app to support girls subjected to genital mutilation.

The prize winner will be announced Oct. 24.

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