French President Emmanuel Macron commended the "battle" of Iranian martyr Mahsa Amini, who was killed for not wearing the veil.
In a video on his Twitter account, the French President indicated that repression was increasing worldwide, adding that as often the first victims of these oppressions were women and young girls."
"If Mahsa Amini, assassinated as a martyr, has today become a symbol for all of us, she must be more than that, and her fight obliges us."
"It compels us to responsibility and action," he added during the reception of a new batch of human rights defenders in France within the Marianne Initiative.
Iran has been facing a wave of protests since Sept. 16 last year, following the death of Amini, who was killed after the morality police arrested her.
This year, France welcomed 14 winners of the Marianne Initiative from all over the world involved in human rights, social issues, and environmental protection.
The Marianne initiative for human rights defenders was launched in 2021 at the Elysee Palace in the presence of all the partners who contributed to it: the State, associations and NGOs, foundations, local authorities, and other actors invested in this vital cause for democracy.
According to Macron, the Initiative allows human rights defenders to follow a training program that gives them new tools to continue their commitment to their country or France and help those seeking asylum.
Among the members of the 2023 class is the Iranian journalist Asal Maryam Abbassian, 31, who fled from Iran to Turkey in 2021.
The Initiative welcomed Russian lawyer Imanova Tamila, 26, who provides legal advice to those arrested during the protests, and the Colombian Elicer Arias Arias, 42, who denounced enforced disappearances and extrajudicial violence in the country.
The winners also included Salvadorian Virginia Estefania Roque Aguilar, 25, who protested against water pollution and defended the rights of indigenous people, and Ugandan Virani Safina, 23, who founded an organization that provides medical, psychological, and legal assistance to victims of sexual abuse.
They were selected by a committee of human rights defenders, researchers, and asylum experts.