French President Emmanuel Macron hailed, this Sunday, the “fight” of Iranian Mahsa Amini, “murdered as a martyr” for not wearing a headscarf, calling for more “responsibility and action” in the fight for human rights.
“As often happens, the first victims of oppression are women and young girls,” said Emmanuel Macron, in a video he posted on his Twitter account, quoted by the Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency.
“If Mahsa Amini, murdered as a martyr, has become a symbol for all of us today, she must be more than that”, said the French president, adding that the fight obliges “responsibility and action”.
The president recalled that France will receive 14 winners of the “Marianne Initiative”, which was launched in 2021, a year after the death of the young Amini, aged 22, arrested in Tehran by the moral police for violating the strict dress code that requires women to wear a veil in public.
The “Marianne Initiative” aims to reinforce actions in favor of human rights, honoring a group of activists from around the world who are involved in the defense of human and social rights but also in the protection of the environment.
Iran has faced a wave of protests since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16 last year.
The Marianne initiative” allows “freedom fighters” to access a training program that gives them “new tools to pursue their commitment in their country or in France” for those who wish to apply for asylum, recalled President Macron.
“We want to help them carry out their projects, make them stronger, accompany them so that these projects can prevail everywhere”, he added.
Among the members of the class of 2023 is Iranian journalist Asal Maryam Abasian, 31, who fights in defense of women and the LGBTQI+ people, having fled Iran in 2021.
Russian lawyer Imanova Tamilla, 26, is another activist who advises people arrested during the protests and who was also selected by a committee of human rights defenders, researchers and asylum experts.
Also among the class is Colombian Elicer Arias Arias, 42, who has denounced forced disappearances and extrajudicial violence in his country, as well as Virginia Estefania Roque Aguilar, 25, from El Salvador, who is involved in the fight against pollution. waters and the rights of indigenous peoples.