The Amini Family Blocked by Iranian Regime from Receiving EU Award

The family of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman killed by Tehran “morality police” last year was banned from exiting Iran. Amjad Amini, Mahsa’s father, along with Amini’s mother and brother were on their way to the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought award ceremony. In Tehran, their passports were confiscated, and they were told that they were banned from departing Iran at the request of the Intelligence Ministry. European Parliament member Hannah Neumann spoke out against the regime’s actions and noted that the Amini family was stopped at the Tehran airport. Saleh Nikbakht, a lawyer representing the Amini family, managed to get on the flight and is expected to represent the family at the award ceremony in Strasbourg. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded by the European Parliament to honor individuals and organizations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms since 1988. President Roberta Metsola spoke out in honor of Amini, who died after being arrested by “morality police” officers in Tehran for allegedly incorrectly wearing her hijab. Amini’s death sparked intensive nationwide protests, referred to as the “Woman, Life, Liberty” protests, which continued for months. In August, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, called the protests “the strongest, most dangerous, and most serious” in the regime’s history.