Urgent action demanded over imprisoned protesters

3 November 2022

Press release

For immediate use

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) has expressed concern over the huge numbers of arrests made and charges tabled relating to the ongoing protests that followed the death in detention of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022.

Ms. Amini was detained by the regime’s morality police for allegedly breaking the rules on what the regime deems to be appropriate dress for women in public.

Iran’s mandatory hijab law has been enforced since 1981 and has long been challenged by many Iranian women.  In recent years, protests have escalated with some women appearing in public without the required headscarf and loose accompanying outerwear.  Since 2017, when dozens of women publicly took off their headscarves in a wave of protests, the authorities have adopted tougher measures. 

Reports from activists inside Iran suggest that nationwide as many as 14,000 people have been arrested in connection with the recent protests.  1,000 of those initially arrested face the imminent prospect of mass public trials, , with suspects being accused of “acts of sabotage” and “treason”.  The Islamic Republic dictatorship has ominously omitted to rule out the possibility of death sentences being handed down to some of these protesters.

The Iranian security forces have responded to the protests with unparalleled brutality, with the use of live ammunition being widespread.  The reported 284 deaths, so far, include 45 children.

The regime has also resorted to suppressing journalists and is being condemned for the fabricated accusations made against two unlawfully detained female journalists, Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi.  Both not only face severe punishments but have had no access to due process.  The two women are amongst an estimated 51 journalists who have been arrested since protests began on 16 September.  

CODIR Assistant General Secretary, Jamshid Ahmadi, has expressed concern at the possibility of the death sentence being imposed on protesters as well as the brutal and wholly disproportionate response of the regime to those citizens protesting the tragic death of Mahsa Amini as well as all those killed in the ensuing regime crackdown.   

“The deaths of Mahsa Amini and several other young women protesters in the weeks afterwards is a direct consequence of the reactionary and punitive stance taken towards women and women’s issues by the authorities of the Islamic Republic.  The brutal response to the current protests, just like the others that have gone before, is a stark illustration of the brutality at the very heart of the Islamic Republic,” he said.

“The massive number of arrests and imminent mass trials are further evidence that, for the theocratic regime in Iran, the basic human and democratic rights of all citizens have no value and can be wantonly disregarded.  The regime has amply demonstrated once more that its sole preoccupation is with its own survival and to remain in power at whatever cost.  Meanwhile, the courageous women activists on the ground in Iran are stating that they have come too far to relent on their righteous demands and return peaceably to their homes.”

Mr. Ahmadi reemphasised the longstanding and ongoing commitment of CODIR to supporting the popular protests and progressive campaigns of the Iranian people to move towards the establishment of a modern, secular, and democratic system of government.

CODIR has called upon all forces committed to peace, progress, and supporting the struggle for human and democratic rights in Iran – especially those in the labour and trade union movement – to condemn the mass arrests of peaceful protesters; demand their immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran; to demand the immediate standing-down of the Islamic Republic’s repressive security apparatus, essentially to move away from a militarisation in the state’s response; and to continue issuing statements of solidarity and support for their labour and trade union counterparts as well as all those campaigning for peace, democracy, and justice in Iran.


Further information for Editors

Contact Information for CODIR:-

Postal Address:
Website: www.codir.net
E-mail: codir_info@btinternet.com

Further information on CODIR

CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights.  It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

CODIR has worked closely with the trade union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.  Major trade unions in Britain are affiliated to CODIR and support its campaign for peace, human and democratic rights, and social justice in Iran.

CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.

In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.

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