Iranian protesters

Prominent Intl. Figures Urge Unstinting, Practical Support For Iran Protests

Thursday, 02/02/2023

Hundreds of well-known international figures, from Nobel prize winners to movie actors, have called for support for Iranian protesters against bloody suppression.

In a petition organized by the non-profit Washington-based organization Freedom House, the signatories said that “the triumph of freedom in Iran could renew the global tide of democratization that was so strong in the latter twentieth century but has ebbed in the face of authoritarian counterattack.” “The end of the Islamic Republic’s system of misogyny would constitute a global landmark in the long march toward a world in which women are treated equally.”

The signatories include Nobel prize laureates, heads of states or government officials, members of parliaments, international organizations, as well as numerous public figures from around the world. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; former prime ministers of Canada Stephen J. Harper, Kim Campbell and Charles Joseph Clark; and former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are a few of the prominent figures. 

Women’s rights activists Masih Alinejad, Nazanin Boniadi, Shirin Ebadi, Azar Nafisi, Roya and Ladan Boroumand from the Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran, sportsman-cum- civil rights activist Ali Karimi, and Khalid Aziz from Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan as well as exiled prince Reza Pahlavi are some of the Iranian signatories of the petition. 

They appreciated the Iranians who have taken to the streets in rebellion, noting that “the vanguard are young women, but they have been joined by men and people of all ages. With breathtaking courage and unarmed, they have kept coming, even as the regime has shot, hanged, tortured, blinded, raped, beaten, and arrested many thousands.”

Emphasizing that the Iranian people “deserve unstinting support from freedom-loving people around the world,” they called on governments, civic associations, and individuals to speak loudly and more often in support of the protestors and in condemnation of the regime’s repressive actions. 

They also urged legislators to “adopt” individual arrestees, especially those facing execution, and spotlight their plight, and called on governments to “take diplomatic, economic, and symbolic measures to punish the regime and bolster the protestors.”

“All officials involved in the repression, from Supreme Leader Khamenei down to local Basij commanders, should be sanctioned," read their statement, stressing the necessity for the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) to be added to terrorism lists. 

They also asked high level officials of democratic governments to receive leaders of the opposition, in publicly-announced meetings, highlighting that accurate, reliable, fact-based reporting via international radio, television, and social media reaching Iran should be enhanced, as should assistance to private Iranian exile broadcasting. 

Calling for more tangible measures, they said, “Technical assistance, including equipment, should be given to help the demonstrators counteract censorship and surveillance and to communicate despite the regime’s disruption of Internet service and blocking of websites.”

“Labor unions, governments, and others in the international community should express solidarity with Iranian workers, should share the experiences of other labor struggles for worker rights and democracy, and should also seek ways to provide practical assistance, such as VPNs, other means of communication, and contributions to strike funds if safe and effective channels can be found,” they urged. 

Pledging to do all in their power to support the Iranian struggle for freedom, they called upon all people of good will everywhere to join them. 

Referring to over four months of protests, they said, “The spark was mandatory hijab, but the target of the uprising is the whole theocratic system. Their slogan is Woman, Life, Freedom. The goal they chant is 'Azadi, Azadi, A-za-di,' meaning 'Freedom, Freedom, Freedom.’ Their victory would mean deliverance from a regime that denies free elections, free speech, due process of law, and personal autonomy in matters as simple as the choice of clothing.

International expressions of support for the uprising in Iran is growing as the West has stepped up pressure on the Islamic Republic over its crackdown on protests and arms supply for the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the USEuropean Union and United Kingdom imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran with more sanctions and condemnations being discussed regularly in the international arena. One of the main points of contention is the terrorist designating of the IRGC, which is in control of most of the governing bodies of the regime, is mainly in charge of the crackdown on dissent, and manages the Islamic Republic’s proxy warfare across the region and hostage diplomacy at home.

The crackdown has become especially tense in Kurdish and Baluch majority regions as the regime has arrested at least 182 Kurds and 185 Balochis in January alone. 

More News