EU parliament awards Sakharov Prize to Mahsa Amini, ‘Women, Life and Freedom’ movement

Strasbourg, France, Oct 19 (EFE).- The young Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini and the movement “Women, Life and Freedom”, were awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament on Thursday.

Amini, 22, died three days after she was arrested in September 2022 by Iran’s so-called morality police for allegedly failing to correctly wear the compulsory Islamic veil.

Her death sparked massive, women-protests against the Islamic Republic’s strict veil laws, with the movement adopting the slogan “Women, Life and Freedom”.

ʺThe European Parliament proudly stands with the brave and defiant who continue to fight for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran,” European parliament president Roberta Metsola said in a statement.

Addressing MEPs in Strasbourg, Metsola said Amini’s death “marked a turning point” that has “triggered a women-led movement that is making history.”

She said the world had “heard” the movement’s cry of “Women, Life, Liberty, three words that have become a rallying cry for all those standing up for equality, for dignity, and for freedom in Iran.”

The Sakharov Prize, worth 50,000 euros, rewards an outstanding contribution to the protection of freedom of conscience and is the European Union’s highest tribute to human rights work.

Representatives of the movement will collect the award at a ceremony during a December plenary session in Strasbourg.

The wave of protests sparked by Amini’s death lasted for months and saw unprecedented calls for the end of the Islamic regime that has been in place in Iran since 1979.

The movement only died down after a brutal crackdown by authorities that killed 500 people. At least 22,000 people were arrested, seven of whom were executed. EFE


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