Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in Tehran a year ago while in custody for an alleged hijab infraction, has been nominated for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European Union’s top rights prize.
Amini’s death sparked months of women-led protests across Iran demanding fundamental changes in the country, including gender equality and more freedoms. The authorities unleashed a brutal crackdown on the Woman, Life, Freedom protest movement, killing more than 500 people and detaining thousands.
The European Parliament announced on September 20 that Amini was nominated by the legislature’s three largest blocs, making her the favorite to be chosen for the prestigious award.
Two of the blocs also nominated “the women of Iran” and the "Woman, Life, Freedom Movement."
Three Afghan education activists – Marzia Amiri, Parasto Hakim and Matiullah Wesa – were also among those nominated for the Sakharov Prize, which will be presented in December.
Each year, the European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize to honour “exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Nominations are made by political groups or by at least 40 lawmakers.