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Khodorkovsky Wins Lech Walesa Human Rights Award

WARSAW, Poland — Imprisoned Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the winner of this year's Lech Walesa award for human rights.

The board of the $100,000 prize said Thursday that Khodorkovsky was being recognized for "courage in promoting civil society values," building foundations of economic freedom and "unwavering struggle for justice and human dignity."

Once Russia's richest man, former Yukos CEO Khodorkovsky is serving time in a Siberian penal colony following his conviction for tax evasion and fraud.

His case is widely seen in the West as having been orchestrated by President Vladimir Putin to remove the businessman from power.

Khodorkovsky's son, Pavel, is to receive the award Sunday in Gdansk, where labor leader Walesa founded the Solidarity movement that ousted communism from Poland. Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

Khodorkovsky is also on the list of nominees for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to be awarded by the European Parliament on Oct. 10.

Other candidates on the nominees' list are NSA intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and political activist Malala Yousafzai, among others.

Information from The Moscow Times has been used in this report.

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