Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenage activist shot in the head by the Taliban last year for campaigning for better rights for girls, won the European Union's annual human rights award on Thursday, beating fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.
- Click here to listen to the full interview with Malala Yousafzai on The Current
- For more, including a photo gallery of Malala's life, see The Current's website
- Watch Malala comment on her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize
- Six quotes from the Malala interview
Yousafzai, 16, who was attacked in northwestern Pakistan by a group of gunmen who fired on her school bus, is also a favourite among experts and betting agencies to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is given by the European Parliament each year since 1988 to commemorate Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. Its past winners include Nelson Mandela and Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
Snowden had been nominated by the Green group in the parliament for what it said was his "enormous service" to human rights and European citizens when he disclosed secret U.S. surveillance programmes.
Yousafzai was chosen as the winner after a vote among the heads of all the political groups in the 750-member parliament.
In a Canadian exclusive interview with CBC Radio's The Current this week, Yousafzai said the Taliban's attempts to silence her only ended up encouraging millions of other girls to speak up for their rights.
“They wanted to silence one Malala, but instead now thousands and millions of Malalas are speaking,” the 16-year-old told The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti.
“They’re fighting for their rights.”