The family of Iranian Mahsa Amini cannot travel to France to receive the Sakharov Prize
The parents and brother of Mahsa Amini, the young Iranian Kurd who died last year, and who were to receive in France the Sakharov Prize awarded to the young victim posthumously, have been banned from leaving Iranian territory, announced to AFP this Saturday, December 9 their lawyer in France.
Protest in memory of Mahsa Amini, in New Delhi, September 26, 2022 (illustrative image). © REUTERS/ANUSHREE FADNAVIS
By: RFI Follow
Mahsa Amini's parents and brother "were forbidden to board the flight that was to take them to France for the presentation of the Sakharov Prize and to leave the territory yesterday at midnight while they were in possession of a visa," said Chirinne Ardakani on Saturday, December 9. "Their passports were confiscated," she added. "They returned home during the night but their lawyer Saleh Nikbakht arrived in Paris to receive the award on their behalf," she told Agence France-Presse.
The Sakharov Prize, the European Union's highest honour for human rights, was awarded in October 2023 by the European Parliament to Mahsa Amini and the "Woman, Life, Freedom" movement, which has been bloodily repressed by the Iranian government. The death of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022, at the age of 22, three days after she was arrested by police for wearing an ill-fitting veil, led to months of widespread protests against Iran's political and religious leaders, whose crackdown resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.
► Read also: Iran: Behind Mahsa Amini's death, the uprising of a people
With the Nobel Prize being held at the same time, the Iranian authorities have never been so mobilized to prevent the families of the victims from speaking out to the international community " said Ardakani. " "We feel that the authorities are nervous about any expression of support from the international community," she told AFP.
The brutal murder of Dina Mahsa Amini was a turning point," said Parliament Speaker Roberta Metsola when the award was announced. "The slogan 'Woman, Life, Freedom' has become a rallying cry for all those who stand for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran," she added. On 23 November, the European Parliament condemned Iran's attacks on women, including the "brutal murders", including that of Mahsa Amini.
In a non-binding resolution adopted by 516 votes in favour, 4 against and 27 abstentions, the MEP "strongly condemns the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran and the brutal killings of women by the Iranian authorities, including the 2023 Sakharov Prize laureate Mahsa Amini". And, at the same time, MEPs called for the "immediate release of all victims of arbitrary detention and human rights defenders", including Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, winner of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize.
Read alsoIran: where do the protests stand, one year after the death of Mahsa Amini?
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