The European Parliament’s President Roberta Metsola thanked Jîna Mahsa Amini’s family and representatives of the Jin Jiyan Azadi movement in Iran for their “unwavering dedication to protect human rights” as the women were awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for 2023.
🔴 Jina Mahsa Amini and the Jin Jiyan Azadi movement receive the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2023, recognised by the European Parliament President Metsola (@EP_President) for their relentless dedication to human rights.#JinaAmini | #JinJiyanAzadi | #SakharovPrize
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) December 15, 2023
“We stand with you in solidarity for a world where freedom and equality are not just ideals but realities for us all,” the president said at the ceremony.
Amini’s parents were issued a last minute travel ban and could not leave their home in Iran’s Kurdistan province to receive the award. Their lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, attended the ceremony in Strasbourg, where he read a letter from the late Kurdish woman’s mother.
Representatives from the movement, Afsoon Najafi and Mersedeh Shahinkar, were in attendance at the European Parliament. Najafi’s sister, Hadis Najafi, was shot dead by Iranian security forces days after Amini’s death, and Shahinkar lost an eye during the protests.
Previous laureates of the prestigious prize include legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who have been demanding justice for their disappeared children in Argentina for decades, the first Kurdish woman in Turkey’s parliament, Leyla Zana, and Nadia Murad, who continues her work to free all Yazidi women and children from Islamic State (ISIS) captivity after a long and arduous enslavement by the fundamentalist group herself.
The Jin Jiyan Azadi movement’s namesake slogan is an expression of the Kurdish freedom movement’s ideology that considers women’s emancipation a key element in peoples achieving freedom and equality.