The Iranian authorities confiscated the passports of family members of Mahsa Amini, who was posthumously honored by the European Parliament for her human rights activities. The relatives of an activist who died after being detained by Iran’s morality police were to receive the Sakharov Prize in France. At the airport they were informed that they were banned from leaving the country.
Family of Mahsa Amini, posthumously honored by European parliament for activities in favor of human rightswas stopped by the authorities Iran before leaving for France to receive the Sakharov Prize – the AFP news agency reported on Saturday, citing the lawyer of the winner’s relatives, Chirinne Ardakani.
“The truth cannot be kept silent”
Ms Mahsa Amini’s parents and brother were banned from boarding the plane to Strasbourg and their passports were confiscated. They cannot leave the country, even though – as their lawyer informed them – they have valid visas.
Ardakani said that the Iranian authorities “have never been so mobilized to prevent the victims’ families from talking to the international community” as in this case.
The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, commented on the matter on the X platform (formerly Twitter). “I call on the Iranian regime to withdraw the decision banning the travel of Mahsa Amini’s mother, father and brother. Their place next Tuesday is in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where, together with brave women from Iran, they will receive the Sakharov Prize. The truth cannot be kept silent,” wrote the head of the European Parliament .
Iran. Mahsa Amini’s death after morality police arrest
Mahsa Amini died on September 16 in a hospital in the capital of the country – Tehran. Three days earlier, she had been detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating strict Iranian laws requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab. Many commentators – including the President of the European Parliament – considered the actions of Iranian officers to be murder.
According to witnesses, the 22-year-old Kurdish woman was brutally beaten. However, Iranian authorities denied that officers treated her badly. According to the official version, the woman’s death was caused by sudden heart failure. The case caused mass protests by Iranian women.
Sakharov Prize for Mahsa Amini
In October, the European Parliament announced the award of the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought to Mahsa Amini. This distinction is awarded for fighting for human rights.
“The European Parliament is proud to stand with the brave and rebellious who continue to fight for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran. We stand with those who, even after being released from prison, continue to keep Women, Life and Freedom alive. By electing them winners of the 2023 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, this House remembers their struggle and continues to honor all those who have paid the highest price for freedom,” said the head of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, quoted in the European Parliament’s announcement.
The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is awarded every year by the European Parliament. As we read on the EP website, it was created in 1988 to “honor people and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was named after the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, among others. “for actions towards disarmament, limiting nuclear potential, democracy and respect for human rights. The award is EUR 50,000.”
In 2022 The Ukrainian nation became the winner of the Sakharov Prize “represented by the president, elected leaders and civil society.”
BBC, European Parliament, X
Main photo source: CLEMENS BILAN/EPA/PAP