The Sakharov Prize, the EU's highest honor for human rights, was awarded awarded Thursday by the European Parliament in Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurd who died last year, and the "Women Life Freedom" repressed in blood by the power in Iran.
“The brutal murder of Jina Mahsa Amini”, on September 16, 2022, three days after her arrest by the police for an ill-fitting veil, “marked a turning point”, declared in Strasbourg the president of the Parliament, Roberta Metsola.
“This sparked a women-led movement that made history. The slogan 'Women, Life, Freedom' has become a rallying cry for all those who stand for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran,” he said. she added.
Photo by a user posted on Twitter on October 26, 2022, showing an unveiled woman as thousands of people head towards Saqez, the hometown of Masha Amini © UGC – –
The death of Mahsa Amini, at the age of 22, led to months of large-scale demonstrations against Iranian political and religious leaders, whose repression caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.
The “Woman Life Freedom” uprising has continued in different forms and appears to be one of the greatest challenges to the Iranian authorities since the 1979 revolution.
Tuesday, the lawyer for the family of Mahsa Amini, Saleh Nikbakht, was sentenced by Iranian courts to one year in prison for “propaganda” against the state, after speaking to foreign media about the case.
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Undated photo of imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi released on October 2, 2023 by the Narges Mohammadi Foundation © Narges Mohammadi Foundation – –
On October 6, another Iranian human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, aged 51 years old, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his stubborn fight against the compulsory wearing of the veil in Iran, and in favor of human rights. She is currently detained in Evin Prison in Tehran.
According to her, the “Woman Life Liberty” movement has “accelerated the process of democracy, freedom and equality” in the country, at the same time as it has “weakened the foundations of a despotic religious government”. /p>
The European Parliament has repeatedly condemned the repression of protests by the Iranian authorities, and described the human rights situation in the country as “desperate”.
Photo obtained by AFP outside Iran of a demonstration for Mahsa Amini in Tehran on September 21, 2022 © AFP – –
In October 2022, MEPs called for sanctions against the regime, then demanded in January 2023 inclusion on the list of terrorist organizations of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
To mark the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, the United States, the EU and the United Kingdom announced in mid-September new sanctions against Iranian political leaders and members of the security forces, and against certain companies in the country.
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Two other finalists were in the running for the Sakharov Prize: two Nicaraguan human rights activists, Vilma Nunez de Escorcia and Bishop Rolando José Alvarez Lagos, as well as three abortion rights activists, Justyna Wydrzynska (Poland), Morena Herrera (El Salvador) and Colleen McNicholas (United States).
The candidacy of the controversial boss of X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk, proposed by the far-right group Identity and Democracy (ID), was not selected among the finalists.
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Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny at the Moscow court, February 2, 2021 © Moscow City Court press service – Handout
Created in 1988, the Sakharov Prize “for freedom of thought” rewards individuals each year or organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. The 2023 prize will be formally awarded during a ceremony in the Strasbourg hemicycle on December 13.
Worth 50,000 euros, it bears the name of Soviet dissident and nuclear physicist Andreï Sakharov, Nobel Prize winner. peace in 1975.
The Ukrainian people, the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, the opposition in Belarus, and the imprisoned Uyghur intellectual Ilham Tohti are among the latest winners of the prize.
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