BRUSSELS, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The European Union parliament awarded its annual Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who died in police custody last year and the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement in Iran, it said on Thursday.
“On 16 September we marked one year since the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini in Iran. The European Parliament proudly stands with the brave and defiant who continue to fight for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran,” EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola said in a statement.
“By choosing them as laureates…this House remembers their struggle and continues to honour all those who have paid the ultimate price for liberty.”
Amini, 22, born in Iran‘s western province of Kurdistan, died in morality police custody in September last year after being arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code.
While Amini’s family said she had been killed by blows to her head and limbs, the authorities said she had died due to existing medical problems.
Her death sparked months of protests that spiralled into some of the worst political turmoil since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Under the banner “Woman, Life, Freedom”, Iranian citizens have been protesting against laws obliging women to cover their hair and wear loose fitting clothing.
Iranian security forces have continued their crackdown on dissent and briefly detained Amini’s father on the anniversary of her death.
(Reporting by Julia Payne)