The family of Mahsa Amini, the Iranian Kurdish woman who died in custody, have been banned from travelling to France to collect a top rights prize awarded posthumously, their lawyer said on Saturday.

Amini died aged 22 on September 16, 2022, while being held by Iran’s religious police for allegedly breaching the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

Her family and supporters say she was killed. Iranian authorities claim she died in custody from a previously undisclosed medical condition.

In October, the European Union awarded its top rights honour, the Sakharov Prize, to her and the global movement her death triggered.

On Saturday, her family’s lawyer in France, Chirinne Ardakani, told AFP that Amini’s parents and brother were “prohibited from boarding the flight that was to take them to France for the presentation of the Sakharov Prize”.

She said the family was banned from leaving Iran despite having a valid visa and their passports were confiscated.

Ardakani said Iranian authorities “have never been so mobilised to prevent the families of the victims from speaking to the international community”.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola urged Iran to reverse its move.

“I call on Iran’s regime to retract the decision to ban Mahsa Amini’s mother, father and brother from travelling,” Metsola said on social media.

“Their place next Tuesday is at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to receive the Sakharov Prize, with the brave women of Iran. The truth cannot be silenced.”

The Sakharov Prize, which comes with a 50,000-euro ($53,000) endowment, was to be handed over in a European Parliament ceremony on December 13.

Mahsa Amini’s death triggered mass protests in Iran.

It also generated a global movement known as “Woman, Life, Freedom”, calling for the end of Iran’s imposition of a headscarf on all women and an end to the Muslim cleric-led government in Tehran.

Iranian security forces have cracked down on the protests domestically, killing hundreds, and have executed dozens for allegedly participating in what officials have called “riots”.

The “Woman, Life, Freedom” campaign continues in cities around the world, with frequent demonstrations in which Amini’s photo is held aloft.

Opinion

Editorial

Little respite
03 Mar, 2024

Little respite

IS inflation on its way out? The Consumer Price Index showed that inflation dropped to 23.1pc in February from ...
More slaughter
Updated 03 Mar, 2024

More slaughter

Israel’s extremist leaders are on an apocalyptic mission to ethnically cleanse Gaza.
Without VCs
03 Mar, 2024

Without VCs

THE delay in appointing vice chancellors across Pakistan’s universities has mushroomed into a crisis, with one...
Urgent challenge
Updated 02 Mar, 2024

Urgent challenge

The incoming finance team will have to prioritise economic decisions over political considerations and personal whims.
Contempt ruling
02 Mar, 2024

Contempt ruling

AN Islamabad High Court decision penalising the city’s deputy commissioner, a senior superintendent of police and ...
Streets of death
02 Mar, 2024

Streets of death

A LIFE without a sense of permanence is one aspect of a human crisis as complex as homelessness. But the fact that...