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Mahsa Amini, Iran's Women-Led Protest Movement Win Sakharov Prize

October 19, 2023
1 min read
Mahsa Amini died in Tehran in September 2022 while in police custody, triggering protests that spread across the country and rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran’s four-decade-old Islamic theocracy
Mahsa Amini died in Tehran in September 2022 while in police custody, triggering protests that spread across the country and rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran’s four-decade-old Islamic theocracy

The EU parliament has awarded its prestigious Sakharov Prize to Mahsa Amini and the Women, Life, Freedom protest movement in Iran that was sparked by the death of the 22-year-old.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola announced the 2023 laureate on October 19, saying that the chamber “proudly stands with the brave and defiant who continue to fight for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran.”

“We stand with those who, even from prison, continue to keep Women, Life and Freedom alive,” she told parliament. “By choosing them as laureates for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2023, this House remembers their struggle and continues to honour all those who have paid the ultimate price for liberty.ʺ

Amini died in Tehran in September 2022 while in police custody, three days after she was arrested for an alleged hijab infraction. 

Her death triggered protests that spread across the country and rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran’s four-decade-old Islamic theocracy.

Authorities responded with a brutal crackdown in which more than 500 people were killed and over 22,000 others were unlawfully detained, according to activists. 

The 27-nation EU has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iranian officials and entities for their involvement in the clamdown on the women-led protests.

Mahsa Amini and the Women, Life, Freedom movement were awarded the Sakharov Prize just weeks after imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi won the Nobel Peace Prize for her fight against the “oppression of women” in her country and for promoting “human rights and freedom for all.”

 

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