Iran: Defend International Supports Protesters’ Quest For Human Rights
2 January 2018
Oslo – DI is concerned about reports of the excessive use of force against demonstrators and calls on Iranian authorities to respect their demands and protect their physical and psychological integrity. We ask world leaders and NGOs to support the protesters.
What began on Thursday December 28th as a demonstration against the economic conditions and corruption in the city of Mashhad has spread to numerous towns and cities, reaching farther to Rojhelat region and beyond. The protesters are expressing their anger against economic, ethnic and political oppression characterised by the lack of economic opportunities, police beatings, ill-treatment of (political) prisoners, as well as Iran’s foreign policy. At least 20 people have been reported killed and hundreds arrested, many reportedly subjected to torture solely for peacefully exercising their rights.
As the Iranian authorities intensify their crackdown on the demonstrators, Defend International is concerned about reports of the excessive use of force, including water cannons and deadly force in Tehran, Kermanshah and elsewhere. It is crucial that the citizens are allowed to vent their frustration at the current political, racial and economic situation in Iran.
“We stand in solidarity with the courageous protesters who are defending their right to a better future,” noted Dr. Widad Akreyi, co-founder of Defend International and the 2017 recipient of Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Peace and Freedom Award. “The citizens of Iran and Rojhealt have suffered for decades. Their quest for human rights stems from long-held disappointment regarding their lives and the future of their children. The government should ensure a safe environment where it is possible to safely air their grievances without being punished, intimidated, imprisoned or killed.”
In light of the current turmoil on the streets of Rojhelat and Iran, Defend International calls on the international community to listen to the demonstrators and act immediately to ensure the safety and security of civilians at all times. We call on the Iranian authorities to respect the demands of the protesters and to protect their physical and psychological integrity.
“We urge Iran to refrain from the excessive use of force against demonstrators and halt arbitrary detentions,” said Dr. Widad.
Those detained should be released immediately and unconditionally and, until they are released, the authorities should provide them with the medical care they may need, either inside the prison or by referring them to hospitals outside the prison. Furthermore, we call on world leaders and NGOs to support the protesters and echo our calls to the Iranian authorities.
For media enquiries please contact DI Media representative at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Credit: Photo by REUTERS