Socialist International condemns abuse of authority and human rights violations in Iran

24 September 2022

The Socialist International strongly condemns grave violations of human rights, repression and violence by the Islamic regime in Iran, as citizens have taken to the streets across the nation to protest against brutal treatment and abuses of power by the authorities.

People across the world have been shocked and appalled by the tragic case of Jina (Mahsa) Amini, an innocent Kurdish girl who died while in a coma as a result of injuries sustained during her detention by the Iranian morality police in Tehran. There is clear evidence that Amini was subject to beating and torture by the authorities, while detained for allegedly wearing her hijab in an ‘improper’ way.

The response to the unlawful killing of Jina Amini was an outpouring of nationwide protest against her brutal treatment and the oppressive restrictions faced on a daily basis by women and girls in Iran. Faced with these legitimate demands, the authoritarian regime has sought to repress and subdue those protesting, with a despicable use of lethal force and live rounds that has resulted in multiple deaths and a large number of injuries.

The SI stands with those who have raised their voices in Iran to call for fundamental change and for those who perpetrated this crime to be brought to justice. It further expresses its deep admiration for the fearless way in which citizens have taken to the streets in Iran, despite the grave risks to their own safety. The power and potential of these protests to bring about change is clear from the response of the Iranian authorities, who have taken the step of shutting off the internet and blocking access to social media platforms through which protesters have been organising. The international community must be vigilant to these efforts to censor online space, with the aim of preventing the world from learning about the violence employed by the Iranian authorities against unarmed protesters.

A fundamental issue at stake in Iran and brought to the fore in recent days is the power of the morality police to detain women for wearing clothing perceived to be improper. No woman should have their choice of clothing dictated to them by the authorities or discriminated against based on how they dress. The repressive nature of the Iranian regime impacts particularly deeply on Kurdish women and girls, who are oppressed both on account of their ethnicity and gender. The SI offers its full support and solidarity to its Kurdish member parties in Iran, who are tirelessly maintaining their struggle for a different future for the people of Eastern Kurdistan, where the principles of democracy and human rights are upheld. The international community must do more to support these repressed communities and hold the Iranian regime accountable for its crimes against its own citizens, including those responsible for the killing of Jina Amini.

The SI mourns the loss of Jina Amini and other innocent victims of brutality of the Iranian authorities during protests in response to her killing.  It stands in full solidarity with women and minorities in Iran who are suffering repressive treatment at the hands of the regime. It is high time for the Iranian state to address the legitimate grievances of its citizens, who are suffering under social restrictions, economic stagnation and an unjust and unaccountable theocratic system.