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Women's rights

Protests continue in Iran – and get international support

by Shora Azarnoush

In brief

In Berlin, 80,000 rallied in solidarity with Iran’s protest movement on 22 October.

In Berlin, 80,000 rallied in solidarity with Iran’s protest movement on 22 October.

Brutal repression is not deterring people from expressing their discontent with Tehran’s fundamentalist regime. The slogan “woman, life, freedom” is resonating around the world.

Despite growing brutality of security forces, people are still pouring into streets to protest seven weeks after Jina Mahsa Amini died in police custody (see my previous contribution on www.dandc.eu). The traditional mourning period of 40 days is over, but dissent is still being expressed widely across the country.

That is remarkable, not least because Hossein Salami, the top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) stated on Saturday 29 October that this would be “the last day of rioting”. The IRGC has a history of violence, but people were not deterred by Salami’s threat,  as large numbers of protesters proved one day later.

Repression is murderous. Some 250 people were killed, according to estimates.

At the end of October, security forces attacked dormitories and a hospital of the Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences. They arrested many students. Observers spoke of “an insult of the medical community”. A strike was announced, which shows that oppressive action is not working.

International responses

In Europe, however, Salami’s speech did make a difference. Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that her country is tightening sanctions and is considering with the EU to classify the IRGC as a terrorist organisation. She added that negotiations on renewing the nuclear deal with Iran were currently on hold.

The Iranian diaspora, with support from civil-society groups in many countries, is expressing solidarity with the uprising. Vigils and rallies have been held in many places. One demand is that the international community must do more to isolate the fundamentalist regime in Tehran. In Berlin, some 80,000 people rallied in solidarity with the Iranian uprising on 22 October.The slogan “woman, life, freedom” is resonating around the world.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took part in a demonstration in Ottawa on 30 October. His government has announced it will ban the top leadership of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from travelling to Canada. SA