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Wednesday, 15 December, 1999, 17:00 GMT
Gusmao receives EU Sakharov prize

The European Parliament in Strasbourg has given the East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao, its most prestigious human rights award.

Mr Gusmao, who spent years in Indonesian prisons, was in Strasbourg for the presentation of the Sakharov Prize, named after the celebrated Russian dissident of the Soviet era.

In an address, he said East Timor was entering a very difficult period and was counting on continued support from Europe.

The parliament's president, Nicole Fontaine, compared Mr Gusmao's experiences and qualities with those of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

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