Sakharov Prize awarded to Mahsa Amini and “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” uprising

MEPs awarded the 2023 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Jina Mahsa Amini and the “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” Movement in Iran.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola announced the 2023 laureate in the Strasbourg plenary chamber on Thursday, following a decision by Parliament’s Conference of Presidents.

President Metsola declared: ʺOn 16 September we marked one year since the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini in Iran. The European Parliament proudly stands with the brave and defiant who continue to fight for equality, dignity and freedom in Iran. We stand with those who, even from prison, continue to keep Women, Life and Freedom alive. By choosing them as laureates for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2023, this House remembers their struggle and continues to honour all those who have paid the ultimate price for liberty.ʺ



22-year-old Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini was arrested by the so-called morality police on 13 September 2022 during a family visit in the Iranian capital Tehran because she did not wear her hijab as prescribed. She was severely tortured and fell into a coma in custody, and died on 16 September at the intensive care unit of Kasra Hospital in Tehran. 

The state femicide of Jina Mahsa Amini triggered a revolution under the motto "Jin, Jiyan, Azadî" (Woman, Life, Freedom) across the country. The women-led uprisings that spread from Rojhilat to the whole of Iran have created an irreversible revolution in people's minds, resulting in the deaths of at least 500 people and injuries to thousands more. Despite the family’s complaint against those responsible for Amini’s death, no action has been taken so far.

Following the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on these protests, the European Parliament has repeatedly condemned the dire human rights situation in the country.

In October 2022, MEPs called for sanctions against Iranian officials involved in both Jina Mahsa Amini’s death and the regime’s repression, and expressed their strong support for the peaceful protest movement in Iran.

In January 2023, MEPs demanded more sanctions against the Iranian regime and for the EU to place the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on its terrorist list.