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Masha Amini, the Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in police custody, is awarded EU human rights prize

Masha Amini, the Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in police custody, is awarded EU human rights prize

Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in police custody in Iran last year, sparking worldwide protests against the country’s conservative Islamic theocracy, has been awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died in police custody in Iran last year, sparking worldwide protests against the country’s conservative Islamic theocracy, was awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize on Thursday.

The EU award, named for Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, was created in 1988 to honor individuals or groups who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. Sakharov, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died in 1989.

Other finalists this year included Vilma Nunez de Escorcia and Roman Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez — two emblematic figures in the fight for the defense of human rights in Nicaragua — and a trio of women from Poland, El Salvador and the United States leading a fight for “free, safe and legal abortion.”