Over these last few months, you have probably heard about the protests of the Iranian people and the crimes committed by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Text: Arezu Sharifi
Image: Liza Imagojeva
On September 16, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl, was killed in Tehran, only six days before her birthday. The reason? Her hijab was not complete… In Iran, there is a so-called morality police that arrests women if they do not wear their hijab correctly. Mahsa was arrested by this morality police and according to medical evidence, her cause of death was a skull fracture. The news of her death has already had a wide impact on Iranians and has made many people very angry. People started to protest , not just in Iran, but in more than 150 cities all around the world. With “Woman, Life, Freedom” as their slogan, the protesters demand the removal of such anti-women and inhumane laws. Women are reacting to these situations by taking off their compulsory hijabs and by cutting their hair.
The Iranian government’s response to such non-violent protests has been all but peaceful. In Zahedan, one of the southern cities of Iran, the government reacted to demonstrators who had gathered for a prayer by bombing and shooting directly at them. More than 140 people have been killed.
Another tragedy is the story of Nika Shakarami, a 17-year-old girl. She left her house to join the protest on September 20, and nine days later, her family was informed at the police station that somebody with similar characteristics was discovered in Kahrizak forensics. Nika’s family was not allowed to see her head when they went to identify the body. The teenager’s nose had been smashed and her skull was broken from multiple hits by a heavy object, possibly a baton (Time, Oct. 8 2022, ed. note). In addition, Islamic Republic security forces stormed Sharif University (security forces are not allowed to enter universities by law) and beat, shot and arrested students. In recent days, protests have reached high schools and students, but again, the security forces have been attempting to suppress these violently.
If the western governments continue their silence, they will be complicit in these crimes.
This regime is murdering people, and yet these dictators have bank accounts all over the world. Why are their children and grandchildren living in the US, Canada and Europe and enjoying the same freedom that women in Iran are deprived of, to the point of being suppressed just for demanding it? Why are the western universities sending their kids invitations? Why is the government giving these people a visa system? Is it because they are getting oil? How many barrels of oil equal a human life? Will the EU countries continue to turn a blind eye on the humanitarian crisis in Iran just because they need Iran’s resources? If the western governments continue their silence, they will be complicit in these crimes.