Tag: <span>morality police</span>

Iran Appeals

U.N. Human Rights Council Focus on Iran.

Featured Image: Ebrahim Raisi By Nasim Online, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
On 24 November 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council held a Special Session on the human rights situation in Iran.  A Special Session is the highest form of attention which the Human Rights Council can take.  The Foreign Minister of Germany came in person to Geneva to present the Special Session resolution.  The resolution which was adopted calls for the creation of a special fact-finding mission to investigate:
 

“Alleged human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

 
      Such fact-finding is an essential step towards ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for their abuses.  While it is unlikely that the government of Iran will allow the fact-finding group to enter the country, the creation of the group after a heated debate indicates the wide-spread international concern with the repression of the demonstrations and the death sentences given by courts to at least five protesters accused of:
 

“Moharebek” (waging war against God).

 
     The manifestations began on 16 September 2022 concerning the death of a 22-year old woman Mahsa Amini at the hands of the “morality police“.  She had been arrested for showing too much of her hair under the manditory veil – the Hijab.  Now women cutting their hair in public has become one of the symbols of the manifestations.  The first cries were “Women-Life-Liberty” (Zan- Zevdegi-Azadi) and were focused on women’s issues. 
The manifestations had begun in the Kurdish areas  of Iran, Mahsa Amini being a Kurd.  The manifestations quickly spread to all the other areas of Iran as well.  However, the governmental crackdown has been most brutal against the Kurds – the number killed and arrested. In the nine weeks of manifestations, the issues have become broader and now concern the theocratic nature of the regime itself.
Women-Life-Liberty
Image: Thousands turn out in Melbourne to stand in solidarity with protests that have broken out in Iran following the death of 22-year old Mahsa (also known as Jina or Zhina) Amini at the hands of the country’s brutal dictatorship and its ‘morality’ police. By Matt Hrkac from Geelong / Melbourne, Australia, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

    Iran: Women-Life-Liberty

 
The government is seriously worried but is unable to create a counter-vision to its current theocratic framework.  Repression by the police and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the first line of defence followed by blaming the U.S.A. and Israel as the sources of the manifestations.  While there is an active community of Iranians living in the U.S.A. who are generally liberal in their social-political convictions, the current manifestations are not the results by Iranian exiles or the U.S. and Israeli governments.  There is also wide support in Western Europe for the themes of the manifestations.
     Rather the manifestations have both economic and social causes.  There is a serious economic recession due to multiple causes which has led the often influencial shopkeepers to join the mainfestations by closing their shops. The manifestations also indicate the social, especially the generational differences. Many of those manifesting are young, secondary school and university students.  Although the government has tried to shut down the social media, communications among the young remain strong.
     It is difficult to know how events will develop.  The U.N. Factfinding Mission has its work cut out for it.  Its findings should be followed closely.
 
Iran
 
 Image: Photos of various protests in London in solidarity with Mahsa Amini. By Garry Knight from London, England, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

A Wind of Change Blows Ever Stronger in Iran.

 

 
 
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Iran Appeals

A Wind of Change Blows Ever Stronger in Iran.

Featured Image: Photos of various protests in London in solidarity with Mahsa Amini.

Despite strong governmental repression, a wind of change blows ever stronger in Iran.  What began  as manifestations on 16 September 2022 concerning the death of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Anini at the hands of the “morality police” continues today among all ethnic groups and in most parts of the country.  The first cries of “Women -Life- Liberty” continue, but “Down with the Islamic Republic” is increasingly heard.

People are discussiong radical social change.

This is a new generation of protesters, too young to have been in the 2009 Green Movement protests linked to the election of the President or the 2019 protests linked to the high costs of living.  The country still faces economic difficulties, but the hopes for gradual reforms to be undertaken by the government have given way to protesting the nature of the government.  More and more people are discussing the nature of a post-theocratic government. People are discussiong radical social change.  The tight control by the government and its conservative allies is fast slipping away.

Iran

Image: Thousands turn out in Melbourne to stand in solidarity with protests that have broken out in Iran following the death of 22-year old Mahsa (also known as Jina or Zhina) Amini at the hands of the country’s brutal dictatorship and its ‘morality’ police. By Matt Hrkac from Geelong / Melbourne, Australia, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran: Women-Life-Liberty.

Blame Game.

The protests which began with the leadership of women focused on women’s issues have become increasingly mixed by gender, age,  and ethnicity.  The issues raised have also become broader.  The government is seriously worried but is unable to create a counter-vision to its current theocratic framework.  Repression is the government’s line of defense.  Some 300 persons have been killed by the government security forces and an estimated 14,000 arrested.  The government has tried to blame the U.S.A. and Israel as the sources of the manifestations.  While there is an active community of Iranians in the U.S.A. who are generally liberal in their social-political convictions, the current manifestations are not the result of efforts by Iranian exiles or the U.S. government.  Few persons in Iran are taken in by the “blame game.”

The manifestations are creating new ties of solidarity among people who did not know eachother before.  It is impossible to know at this stage how events will develop.  The military and especially the Revolutionary Guards may grow stronger as they are well organized while the protesters do not have a coordinated leadership.  It is difficult to know how to support the protests from outside the country, but the situation merits close attention.

 

René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Women-Life-Liberty Appeals

Iran: Women-Life-Liberty

Featured Image: Thousands turn out in Melbourne to stand in solidarity with protests that have broken out in Iran following the death of 22-year old Mahsa (also known as Jina or Zhina) Amini at the hands of the country’s brutal dictatorship and its ‘morality’ police. By Matt Hrkac from Geelong / Melbourne, Australia, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

28 Sep 2022 – The cry “Women-Life-Liberty!” is going up in many different parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  It is not possible to know in advance how strong the protests will be and what will be the specific reforms demanded.

Morality Police.

The protests began on 13 Sep 2022 at the announcement of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Anini in police custody, having been arrested by the “morality police” for not having the proper dress.  She was an ethnic Kurd.  The protests began in the Kurdish areas but soon spread to all ethnic groups and many parts of the country.  However, the government is worried that support for the demonstrations from Kurds, especially some in Iraq, could grow and lead to multi-ethnic tensions.

Women have been a central focus of the social policy of the Islamic government.  Even before coming to power in 1979, Ayatollah Khomenini from his exile in France had said that the overly great liberty of women was a chief obstacle to his policies.  Repressive policies against women with compulsory veiling laws were quickly put into place.

However, unlike the Taliban in Afghanistan, women were not barred from higher education.  It is estimated that some 65 percent of university students are women.  Many play important roles within society but must keep a low profile, dress according to the code and be under the control of a man, at least when visible in public.

Ayatollah Khomenini

Portrait of Ruhollah Khomeini By Mohammad Sayyad. By Mohammad Sayyad – محمد صیاد, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Women – Life – Liberty.

Now the cry “Women – Life – Liberty” proclaimed by many women and some men indicates the changes in outlook.  Obviously, the government led by the Guide Ali Khamenei and the conservative President Ebrahim Raisi are worried.  The police, the Revolutionary Guards, and other paramilitary forces have been called out.  Some protesters have been killed, others wounded.  The number of arrested is unknown.  Journalists have been prevented from reporting, and internet services have been cut or are irregular.  Thus there are few photos of the demonstrations.

Ali Khamenei

Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei delivers Nowruz message in his office (2016). By Khamenei.ir, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

There have been waves of protests in Iran before without bringing about major changes in policy.

However, some observers believe that there is a new spirit in these protests.  “Women – Life – Liberty” may be the wave of the future and should be watched closely.

Ebrahim Raisi

The eighth president of Iran Ebrahim Raisi. By Khamenei.ir, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Professor Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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