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09 2022

Letter of Solidarity with Iranian women and protesters

We the undersigned, academics and researchers across the globe, stand in solidarity with Iranian people in recognition of increasing waves of political protests sparked across Iran after the killing of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini at the hands of Iran’s so-called “morality police”.

Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died on September 17th while in custody of “morality police” in Tehran. While the exact circumstances of her death are kept from public, available evidences point to brain concussion caused by severe beating and injuries. Constraints on women’s human rights are a key characteristic of the Iranian Islamic Republic. In doing so, the compulsory veiling and regulation of women’s bodily integrity and freedom have grown to an ideological cornerstone of the regime’s totalitarian rule. Mahsa Amini’s tragic death was the most recent case of a decades-long state sanctioned and systemic sexism and misogynistic politics in Iran. It was a breaking point revealing how law enforcement not only does not protect women, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, and dispossessed citizens but rather exposes them to threats and death. A basic demand for bodily integrity and right to choose their own clothing threaten the very ideological core of the ruling authorities in Iran and has resulted in peaceful protests led by young women demanding freedom, justice, and state accountability.

As we write these words Iranian cities are on fire. Large protests are ongoing in every corner of Iran. In their slogans, the protesters demand fundamental change and an end to four decades of brutal theocratic rule in their country. A slogan that has grown to the main symbol of the current protests is: Women, life, freedom. Iranians’ civil disobedience and cry for justice has been responded with violence, tear gas, live bullets, beating and arresting demonstrators.

We call for an end to the systemic state violence against women in Iran and support their struggles for equality, justice and freedom.

We call for a solidarity with women, political dissidents, and socially disadvantaged individuals such as ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, as well as the poor in Iran.

We are committed to the struggle of the people in Iran for justice and freedom.

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