New Delhi [India]: European lawmaker Abir Al Sahlani, who cut off her hair in solidarity with the ongoing protests in Iran, said she wanted to show the women of Iran that they have been heard and that they have a voice in the European Parliament.
The death of 22-year-old girl Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s “morality police” last month, has set off large-scale protests in the country where thousands have joined anti-government demonstrations.
Security forces have responded at times with live ammunition, and many people have been killed, injured and detained in the protests, according to media reports.
In a rousing speech delivered during the EU debate in Strasbourg, the EU lawmaker Al Sahlani extended her support to protesting people and said, “The hands of the regimes of the mullahs in Iran are stained with blood. Neither history or Allah or god almighty will forgive you for crimes against humanity that you are committing against your own people.”
“Until the women of Iran are free, we will stand with you,” she said in a video that went viral on Twitter.
In response to a media query, Al Sahlani exclusively told ANI that she wanted to show that the rights of women are as important all over the world, not just in the EU. “I wanted to show the women of Iran that they have been heard and that they have a voice in the European Parliament. I wanted to make a physical manifestation (by cutting off my hair), not just a speech, to underline the anger I feel,” she said.
The Iraqi-born Swedish member of European Parliament said the women of Iran have been putting their lives at risk for three weeks, showing incredible courage, to fight for their freedom.
She said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is a “spineless coward” who has refrained from supporting the protesters in Iran. “The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, has shown everything but the same courage. He has cowardly refrained from supporting the protesters in Iran. That has made me so frustrated, that he is such a spineless coward.”
The EU lawmaker said she wants to “show that we can act, and not just say things.” “Sweden and the EU can be much clearer in our support for the protesters in Iran. They want international support to keep up their energy and feel that they are not alone in this fight,” she added.
More than 100 people have been killed in nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, according to the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) NGO. Iranian schoolgirls and women have come out in huge numbers to demonstrate by removing their hijabs and staging rallies in protest over Amini’s death.
Breaking his silence over the protest, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Monday blamed the United States for the ongoing protest in the country, following the death of Mahsa Amini.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Tehran, Khamenei said he was heartbroken at the death of the 22-year-old girl in police custody. However, he did not approve of the violent demonstrations following the death of Amini. (ANI)