Sweden’s new government has sent a strong message to Iran and its leader Ali Khamenei by promoting a fearless campaigner for the rights of Iranian women to its cabinet.
Tireless activist Romina Pourmokhtari, 26, has become Sweden’s Climate and Environment Minister, making her the youngest-ever cabinet member in the country.
Pourmokhtari – until now head of the Liberal party’s youth wing – was born into a family of Iranian origin in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden’s capital.
She says has been a vigorous campaigner for “human rights and freedoms”.
Pourmokhtari has in recent weeks shown her support for the ongoing protests in Iran that were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
She will be joined in the Swedish cabinet by new Culture Minister Parisa Liljestrand, 39, who was born in Iran.
Their appointment is being seen as a significant message to Iran and its leaders at a time when women in Iran are protesting for their freedom.
Mahsa Amini, 22, from Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, was on a visit to Tehran when she was arrested by Iran’s morality police accused of violating hijab rules on 13th September.
She was allegedly beaten while in custody and spent the following days in a coma in hospital before dying in the ICU on 16th September.
The clinic where she was treated said in a now-deleted social media post that she had been admitted as brain-dead.
Alleged medical scans of her skull leaked by hackers showed that she had suffered bone fractures, haemorrhages, and brain oedema.
Anti-regime media are claiming that Mahsa’s medical records showing her history of heart disease were faked by the Iranian government.
The protests her death sparked are ongoing and, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights, at least 201 people, including 28 children, have been killed so far, according to its latest figures released on 12th October.