What is Iran hiding? Mahsa Amini's family blocked from leaving country
The family has been banned from leaving Iran despite having a valid visa and their passports had been confiscated, their lawyer said.
The family of Mahsa Amini, the Iranian Kurdish woman who died in police custody, have been banned from travelling to France to collect a rights prize awarded posthumously, their lawyer said. Mahsa Amini died aged 22 on September 16, 2022, when she was being held by Iran's religious morality police for allegedly breaching strict dress code for women- not wearing hijab. Her family and supporters say she was killed while Iranian authorities have claimed that she died in custody from a previously undisclosed medical condition.
The European Union awarded its top rights honour- Sakharov Prize- to her and the global movement her death triggered. Her family lawyer in France, Chirinne Ardakani, told news agency AFP that Mahsa Amini's parents and brother had been "prohibited from boarding the flight that was to take them to France for the presentation of the Sakharov Prize".
The family has been banned from leaving Iran despite having a valid visa and their passports had been confiscated, he said, adding that the Iranian authorities "have never been so mobilised to prevent the families of the victims from speaking to the international community".
Mahsa Amini's death had triggered mass protests in Iran, generating a global movement- “Woman, Life, Freedom”- that called for the end of Iran's imposition of hijab for all women. Iranian security forces cracked down on the protests domestically, killing hundreds. Many have been executed for participating in what officials have called “riots” but the campaign continues in cities around the world.
The 50,000-euro Sakharov Prize was to be handed over in a European Parliament ceremony on December 13 to the family.