The European Parliament (EP) has awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Jina Amini and the Jin Jiyan Azadi movement.
Jina Mahsa Amini, who was arrested in Tehran, the capital of Iran, for not wearing a headscarf, could not withstand the torture she was subjected to and died. Amini’s death prompted millions of people to take to the streets across the country. The Sakharov Prize, which has been awarded since 1988, was then presented to her family on behalf of Jina Amini.
On 13 December, Salih Nikbeht, lawyer for the women’s movement, and women’s rights activists Efsun Najafi and Mersedeh Shahinkar attended the ceremony in Strasbourg.
Speaking to the press before the award ceremony, EP President R. Metsola said: “This award is a tribute to all the brave and defiant women, men and young people in Iran who, despite increasing repression, continue to fight for their rights and push for change. The European Parliament hears and supports you. You are not alone,” he said.
Meanwhile, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nergis Mohammadi, a campaigner against the oppression of women in Iran who was arrested after the Mahsa Amini protests.
The Sakharov Prize is named after the Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. In 1975, Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to promote human rights worldwide. He is best known for his political activism for individual freedoms, human rights, civil liberties and reforms in Russia.