Friday , 1 March 2024

EU Lawmakers Decry “Unlawful” Travel Ban on Mahsa Amini’s Family

Iranwire – More than 100 members of the European Parliament have urged Iranian authorities to allow Mahsa Amini’s family to leave the country to receive the 2023 Sakharov Prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg on December 12.

The travel ban imposed by the Islamic Republic’s authorities on Mahsa’s relatives “is unlawful as they are not subject to any charge or prosecution,” the lawmakers said in an open letter. 

They said that the restriction is aimed at “preventing them from speaking out about the Islamic Republic’s outrageous repression of women’s rights, human rights and fundamental freedoms in Iran.” 

Hours before the Amini family was set to depart for France on December 8, authorities at Imam Khomeini International Airport prevented them from boarding their flight.

Authorities confiscated their passports and informed them that they were not authorized to leave the country. 

“Despite our inquiries, officials refused to provide a solid reason for the travel ban and said it would remain in effect until January 20, 2024,” the family said in a statement.

In October, the EU parliament awarded its prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Mahsa and the Women, Life, Freedom protest movement in Iran.

Mahsa, 22, died in Tehran in September 2022 while in police custody, three days after she was arrested for an alleged hijab infraction. 

Her death triggered protests that spread across the country and rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of the four-decade-old Islamic theocracy in Iran.

Authorities responded with a brutal crackdown in which more than 500 people were killed and over 22,000 others were unlawfully detained, according to activists. 

Following biased trials, the judiciary handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters. At least eight of them have been executed so far.

The 27-nation EU has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iranian officials and entities for their involvement in the clampdown on the women-led protests.