The family of Iranian Mahsa Amini prevented from traveling to France for the Sakharov Prize award

The parents and brother of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurd who died in September 2022, who was to receive the Sakharov Prize in France, awarded to the young victim posthumously, were banned from leaving Iranian territory, the Agency was told

The family of Iranian Mahsa Amini prevented from traveling to France for the Sakharov Prize award

The parents and brother of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurd who died in September 2022, who was to receive the Sakharov Prize in France, awarded to the young victim posthumously, were banned from leaving Iranian territory, the Agency was told. France-Presse their lawyer in France, Saturday December 9.

“[They] were prohibited from boarding the flight which was to take them to France for the Sakharov Prize award and from leaving the territory yesterday at midnight even though they had a visa,” explained Chirinne Ardakani. Their passports were confiscated. (…) They returned home during the night, but their lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, arrived in Paris to receive the award on their behalf. »

The Sakharov Prize, a European Union distinction honoring defenders of human rights and fundamental freedoms, was awarded in October by the European Parliament to Mahsa Amini and the Woman, Life, Freedom movement - bloodily repressed by the government in Iran.

Iranian authorities “feverish”

The death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022, at the age of 22, three days after her arrest by police for an ill-fitting veil, led to months of large-scale protests against Iranian political and religious leaders, including the repression caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

“While the Nobel is being held at the same time, the Iranian authorities have never been so mobilized to prevent the families of the victims from speaking to the international community,” said Ms. Ardakani. We sense that the authorities are feverish with regard to any expression of support from the international community. »

“The brutal murder of Dina Mahsa Amini marked a turning point,” said the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, when announcing the prize. “The slogan ‘Women, life, freedom’ has become a rallying cry for all those who defend equality, dignity and freedom in Iran,” she added.

On November 23, the European Parliament condemned Iran's attacks against women. In a non-binding resolution adopted by 516 votes (4 against and 27 abstentions), it “strongly condemn[s] the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran and the brutal killings of women carried out by the Iranian authorities, including the winner of the 2023 Sakharov Prize, Mahsa Amini”. MEPs called for the “immediate release of all victims of arbitrary detention and human rights defenders”, including Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi, 2023 Nobel Peace Prize winner.