Protest is a powerful force for change. This right is under ever growing threat. Protesters across the globe are facing a potent mix of pushbacks, with more laws and other measures criminalizing peaceful protest and silencing dissent. The ongoing attack on people’s power around the world includes unwarranted use of force, to the expansion of unlawful mass and targeted surveillance, and abuse and stigmatization.
One example is in Iran, where today marks the one-year anniversary of the death in custody of Mahsa/Zhina Amini, a young woman from Iran’s oppressed Kurdish minority. She was violently arrested in Tehran by Iran’s “morality” police who routinely arbitrarily detain women who do not comply not with the country’s abusive and discriminatory compulsory veiling laws. Hours after her arrest, she fell into a coma amid credible reports the “morality” police subjected her to torture and other-ill treatment, and died three days later in hospital. She was just 22.
Her death in custody sparked the “Woman Life Freedom” nationwide popular uprising against decades of inequality and widespread repression. Iranian authorities responded with unlawful force, including firing live ammunition, metal pellets and tear gas into crowds of largely peaceful protesters.
Over the past year, the authorities have intensified their use of the death penalty as a tool of political repression and executed at least seven men in relation the uprising – and dozens more risk execution or being sentenced to death in connection to it.
This is why we need your help to call for a moratorium on all executions in Iran with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Sign the petition urging states to pressure the Iranian authorities to halt all executions now.
Stand in solidarity with people in Iran who continue to demand equality and an end to decades of repression, despite the risks.
Senior Campaigner, Middle East & North Africa