STRASBOURG, France — Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian lady who died in police custody in Iran final 12 months, sparking worldwide protests in opposition to the nation’s conservative Islamic theocracy, was awarded the European Union’s high human rights prize on Thursday.
The EU award, named for Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was created in 1988 to honor people or teams who defend human rights and basic freedoms. Sakharov, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died in 1989.
Different finalists this 12 months included Vilma Núñez de Escorcia and Roman Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez — two emblematic figures within the combat for the protection of human rights in Nicaragua — and a trio of ladies from Poland, El Salvador and the US main a combat for “free, protected and authorized abortion.”
Amini died on Sept. 16, 2022, after she was arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s necessary scarf regulation. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola mentioned that day will “stay in infamy,” including that her ”brutal homicide” marked a turning level.
“It has triggered a women-led motion that’s making historical past,” she mentioned as she introduced the awarding of the prize to Amini and the Lady, Life, Freedom motion in Iran.
“The world has heard the chants of ‘Ladies, Life, Liberty.’ Three phrases which have grow to be a rallying cry for all these standing up for equality, for dignity and for freedom in Iran,” Metsola mentioned.
Ladies have performed a number one function within the protests, with many publicly eradicating the obligatory Islamic scarf, often known as the hijab.
The 27-nation EU has imposed sanctions on Iranian officers and organizations — together with ministers, army officers and Iran’s morality police — for human rights abuses over the protests.
“We stand with those that, even from jail, proceed to maintain ladies, life and freedom alive,” Metsola mentioned. “By selecting them as laureates for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2023, this Home remembers their wrestle and continues to honor all those that have paid the final word worth for liberty.ʺ
Amini died three days after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police. Whereas authorities mentioned she suffered a coronary heart assault, Amini’s supporters mentioned she was crushed by police and died because of her accidents.
Her demise triggered protests that unfold throughout the nation and quickly escalated into requires the overthrow of Iran’s four-decade-old Islamic theocracy.
Authorities responded with a violent crackdown through which greater than 500 individuals have been killed and over 22,000 others have been detained, in response to rights teams. The demonstrations largely died down early this 12 months, however there are nonetheless widespread indicators of discontent. For a number of months, ladies might be seen overtly flaunting the scarf rule in Tehran and different cities, prompting a renewed crackdown over the summer time.
The award ceremony will happen on Dec. 13.
Final 12 months’s prize was awarded to the individuals of Ukraine and their representatives for his or her resistance to Russia’s invasion and defiance throughout the ongoing warfare.
This story corrects the spelling of the winner’s title to Mahsa as an alternative of Masha.