“They Want a Democracy,” says Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi speaking on the protests and Iran’s future
“For 43 years, people have bottled up all this anger. For 43 years, the regime has turned a deaf ear to the demands of the people, and anyone who said anything against the regime has either ended up in prison or killed or has fled the country,” says Ebadi speaking on Iran’s demonstrations.
Iranian schoolgirls were killed as anti-govt dissent intensified and the protest in Iran is different this time where while countless protests in Iran in the last 50 years, none of them have carried the intensity that this protest has.
Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her legal work on behalf of women and children in Iran has lived in exile since 2009. Unlike previous protest movements, such as the 2009 Green Movement, she says today’s protesters are demanding fundamental change to the country’s system of government.
We look at the scope, scale, and sustainability of the protests in Iran, which have entered their second month, after being sparked in September by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s so-called morality police.
More than a thousand protesters have been arrested, while some children have been sent to reeducation camps.
The protests in Iran have focused on overthrowing power at the centre for political gain, or voicing dissent against the current economic situation. However, this time, a new generation of protestors, led by women is taking charge. The protesters include Iranians from different ethnic and regional backgrounds, non-religious and religious alike.
It is reported that the crackdown on the protestors has killed at least 215 people, including 27 children as of October 17. Violent crackdowns against schoolchildren have caused public outrage in many cities. The UN human rights office said that they received reports of the arrests of at least 90 members of civil society including human rights defenders, lawyers, artists, and journalists.
The United Nations has acknowledged that children have been killed and many others injured in at least seven provinces by live ammunition, metal pellets at close range, and fatal beatings. Under human rights treaties accepted by Iran, the Islamic Republic has an obligation to protect children’s right to life under any circumstances and to respect and protect their right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest.
“A month after demonstrations erupted across Iran, the unabated violent response by security forces against protesters, and reports of arbitrary arrests and the killing and detention of children are deeply worrying,” said the office of the UN high commissioner of human rights. How it all began The protests began with the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman arrested by morality police in Tehran on September 13 for allegedly violating Iran’s strict rules requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf.
The United Nations said Tuesday at least 23 children have been killed in the demonstrations, but the number has increased to 27. The people are looking for democracy because it is the only way they can survive.
Nationwide demonstrations in Iran following the death of a young woman in police custody continued for the 33rd consecutive day on Thursday, with overnight demonstrations in Tehran, Sanandaj and Dehgolan, as citizens chanted ‘Death to Khamenei’, and students held rallies at several universities, local media reported.
U.N. human rights officials denounced the Islamic Republic’s violent crackdown on anti-government protests as a violation of international law and called on Iranian authorities to end their deadly crackdown against peaceful demonstrators.