Freedom House presented its 2023 Freedom Award to the women of Iran for their fight to advance democracy.
The Washington-based organization said the Women, Life, Freedom movement has demonstrated remarkable courage and resilience in the face of ongoing persecution and discrimination by Iran's oppressive regime.
“From all walks of life, the women of Iran are putting themselves on the line with unbelievable bravery. The international community must stand with the women of Iran as they continue their fight for freedom in the face of horrific repression and human rights abuses,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House.
The non-profit organization honored the rapid response of the movement after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in September, with rallies being held in over 100 cities nationwide.
Protesters clashed with security forces, expressing their anger over violence against women and the broader suppression of basic freedoms. The regime responded with a harsh crackdown, targeting protesters in the country’s Kurdish region in particular.
Over 19,700 people have been arrested and 530 have been killed since the protests began in September. Iran has been rated 'Not Free' by the Freedom in the World report since 1979, scoring 12/100 in the Freedom In The World 2023 report.
“The struggle for freedom and human rights requires the unwavering commitment of individuals and communities around the world,” added Abramowitz.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian democratic opposition leader and historian was awarded the honor next to the women of Iran for his relentless fight against corruption and repression in Putin’s Russia.