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Mahsa Amini Wins EU’s Sakharov Prize for Human Rights

Mahsa Amini Wins EU’s Sakharov Prize for Human Rights

Mahsa Amini Wins EU’s Sakharov Prize for Human Rights

Mahsa Amini Wins EU’s Sakharov Prize for Human Rights

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  • Mahsa Amini and “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement receive EU’s Sakharov Prize
  • Amini, 22, died in custody, sparking protests against Iran’s dress code
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  • EU imposes sanctions on human rights violators in Iran

The European Union has bestowed its prestigious human rights award upon Mahsa Amini and the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, which emerged following her tragic demise.

Aged 22, Amini passed away while in custody, allegedly for breaching Iran’s stringent headscarf rule for women.

Her death ignited widespread protests that posed a significant challenge to the Iranian authorities, marking one of the most significant challenges in decades.

The annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is dedicated to honoring human rights advocates and dissidents.

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European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, upon announcing Ms. Amini’s award, emphasized the enduring impact of the day of her passing.

“The brutal murder of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini marked a turning point. It has triggered a women-led movement that is making history,” Ms Metsola said.

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Mahsa Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish individual, found herself in the spotlight during her visit to Tehran last year when she was apprehended by the morality police.

Her alleged violation of Iran’s stringent Islamic dress code for women resulted in her arrest.

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Following her tragic death, a global movement known as “Woman, Life, Freedom” emerged, advocating for the elimination of Iran’s mandatory headscarf requirement for women and other discriminatory laws.

While Ms. Amini’s family and supporters assert that she was killed, Iranian authorities maintain that she succumbed to an undisclosed preexisting medical condition.

In response to the ensuing protests, the authorities launched a harsh crackdown, prompting the European Union to impose sanctions on individuals and entities linked to human rights abuses in Iran last year.

The awarding of the Sakharov Prize not only serves as a symbol of solidarity but also conveys a powerful message of support.

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“The world has heard the chants of ‘Women, Life, Liberty’. Three words that have become a rallying cry for all those standing up for equality, for dignity and for freedom in Iran,” Roberta Metsola said, “We stand with those who, even from prison, continue to keep Women, Life and Freedom alive.”

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Just two weeks after the Nobel Peace Prize was granted to imprisoned Iranian rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, who has been a steadfast voice against the mandatory headscarf and the oppression of women in Iran, the Sakharov Prize is being bestowed.

The Sakharov Prize, an annual tribute in memory of Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was awarded last year to the Ukrainian people for their commitment to safeguarding democracy, freedom, and the rule of law in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion of their nation.

Mahsa Amini and the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement from Iran now join the esteemed roster of previous laureates, including Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and South Africa’s iconic figure Nelson Mandela.

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This award includes a €50,000 (£43,500; $53,000) grant, which will be presented during a ceremony at the European Parliament in December.

In the preceding month, Iran’s parliament passed a contentious bill aimed at increasing prison sentences and fines for women and girls who do not adhere to the nation’s stringent dress code.

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