Rue Stewart’s Paper about Iranian Protestors

Rue Stewart
Period 5


Iranian Protesters Deserve Global Support


On September 16, 2022, 22 year old Mahsa Amini was detained by Iran’s Gashte Ershad
(Guidance Patrol) for wearing her hijab incorrectly and violating “morality laws.” She was then
brought into custody, and died due to severe injuries that she sustained. The Iranian government
then attempted to tell her family and the people that she had died from a heart attack. Mahsa’s
death sparked rage into the people of Iran and people around the world. Many took to the streets,
chanting “women, life, freedom” and “death to the dictator.” As the people of Iran protest with
more ferocity than ever before, the Iranian government has reacted with extreme brutality.
Protesters have been killed, detained, sentenced to death, put in rehabilitation centers, and had
their internet access restricted. Such violence is wildly unacceptable, and it’s crucial that
protesters’ actions are acknowledged and they are sent the support they need. Global nations
must provide security and aide to Iranian protesters in order to put an end to the Islamic
Republic’s violence and suppression.


Many Iranian protesters that are arrested or detained are sent to Evin Prison, which is
notorious for its inhumane living conditions and treatment of prisoners. Following the recent
protests bringing light to Mahsa Amini’s unjust death, the Islamic Regime is sending more and
more protesters to this prison located in the hills of one of Iran’s capital cities, Tehran. Evin
Prison is where many political prisoners are kept, particularly those who have outwardly spoken
against the Regime and its oppression against the Iranian people. There are few retold firsthand

experiences from those who have been in Evin, but the reports that have been given show just
how terrifying the compound is. Take a look at Ana Diamond’s experience; a dual Iranian-
British citizen who was charged with spying by the Iranian government. She speaks of the
treatment she faced while in prison, and how “Wardens and staff in prison constantly used
different ways to humiliate the prisoner and make them suffer in their daily lives” (Raja 7).
Ana’s experience is a direct result of the flawed judicial system in Iran, which allows the
detention and abuse of anyone suspected to be a national security threat. Looking at this
information from a lens of the current protests following Mahsa Amini’s death, global nations
and individuals must be aware that “Police can enforce their interpretations of ‘bad hejab’ and
charge them as moharab, ‘enemies of the state.’” (Parnian 13). Under this jurisdiction, women
can be detained and sent to prisons such as Evin simply for not wearing a hijab or wearing a
hijab incorrectly. As the number of detainees from the Mahsa Amini protests continuously grows
larger – now at an estimated 20,000 people (Kabir 2) – these thousands of Iranian citizens will
now be subject to violent torture such as floggings, electric shocks, waterboarding, mock
executions, and force feeding of toxic chemicals. (Raja Fig. 1) Innocent people who are
protesting for their autonomy are being met with cruelty at the hands of the Islamic Regime; the
ignorance from the Iranian government and silence from global nations is only perpetuating this


The Iranian government is blatantly breaking human rights laws that were put in
place by the United Nations. Iran was one of the first 50 founding members of the UN when it
joined in 1945; one would think that their government would feel strongly about respecting the
human rights laws of the organization they helped grow. The hypocrisy of the Iranian
government’s actions is absurd. They state that they strive to “Significantly reduce all forms of

violence and related death rates everywhere” (UN I.R. Iran 1) and “End all forms of
discrimination against all women and girls everywhere” (UN I.R. Iran 1), but continue to violate
the exact rules they set for themselves, along with the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. The declaration states that “Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-
operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of
human rights and fundamental freedoms…” (United Nations 3-4). Considering that within two
months of protesting, at least 379 people were killed by military forces and 20,000 have been
detained (Kabir 2). These numbers will only continue to rise if there is no global intervention,
because as of now, the Iranian government is getting away with rampantly killing and arresting
innocent protesters. The country of Iran is in grave need of reform, as the Iranian population has
been suffering in silence for far too long under the current regime. As said in a juridical study of
the protests in Iran,


“It is not only the actions of the Iranian authorities that are of concern, but the laws and
regulations made by the government have also drawn strong criticism from the world
community because they are considered to violate the right to freedom, equality and the
right to life, which is one of the spearheads of Human Rights Law, as established by the
United Nations in international declarations.” (Puspitasari 612)


It is crucial for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations to truly listen to what
protesters are trying to say: the people of Iran want autonomy. Protesters are fighting for their
voices to be heard, and for their own nation and countries around the world to recognize that
religious pillars should never be placed above the people’s inherent human rights.

If no action is taken to quell the violence that the Iranian government is inflicting on its
citizens, then the people of Iran will have to endure serious psychological damage. Due to the

government’s suppression, many Iranians have watched their community get ravaged by violent
attacks. Psychiatrist Amir Kabir stated in a volume of The Lancet’s medical journal that
“Considering the spread of protests across the country, violent behaviour of security forces, and
lack of accountability of the Iranian Government, I am concerned that a large-scale mental health
crisis is imminent, with an entire generation of Iranians exposed to a heightened risk of
psychiatric disorders.” (1) Not only must Iranians face this violence themselves, but such
environments are guaranteed to have a detrimental effect on the human psyche. And such
exposure isn’t a new thing to the Iranian people; there have been a number of protests and
uprisings in the past, and they’ve all been met with the same reaction from the government. Take
the treatment of protesters of the Green Movement in 2009 for example. “…the Basij militia
violently attacked and broke up university protests on June 14 at the University of Tehran and
continued with beating, intimidation, and arrests of peaceful protestors” (Parnian 9). Protesters
in Iran have been met with violence and suppression for years, and their pain has received little
attention from global nations in the past. Lives and people’s health are on the line, and it’s vital
that nations send as much support to Iranian protesters as possible. Psychiatrist Kabir suggested
that “ …deployment of medical teams to protest sites to provide early intervention services could
help to reduce the burden of acute and post traumatic stress disorders” (3). Such services could
be easily provided and/or ordered by the UN and other global nations in order to ease the weight
off of the shoulders of protesters in Iran. Decades of repression is sure to have a detrimental
effect on people, and it’s time that more aide is given to the people of Iran.


Following the UN’s adoption of resolution SS35 (a resolution to conduct an investigation
on the Islamic Republic’s abuses), further steps need to be laid out to take action against the
human rights violations in Iran. This resolution is groundbreaking in itself, as the suffering that

the people of Iran have endured for years has often gone ignored by global nations. The
resolution states that the UN will “…create an independent fact-finding mission to investigate
alleged Islamic Republic abuses against its citizens, especially those involving women and
children.” (Bolourchi 2) Such actions are a step in the right direction for the liberation of Iranian
citizens, but the United Nations also must consider what further actions they will take if their
investigation proves that the Islamic Republic is guilty of violating the people’s rights. There has
already been substantial evidence proving that protesters are being killed, arrested, sentenced to
death, and beaten. So, the time is nearing for the UN to look at their own policies regarding
human rights violations and figure out the best route of action to quell the violence against
Iranian protesters. The UN’s Security Council works to maintain peace and security around the
world, and issues such as human rights fall under their jurisdiction. The Security Council states
the following regarding dealing with such conflicts;


“The Security Council may issue a ceasefire directive, dispatch military observers or a
peacekeeping force. If this is not enough, the Security Council can opt for enforcement
measures, such as economic sanctions, arms embargos, financial penalties and
restrictions, travel bans, the severance of diplomatic relations, a blockade, or even
collective military action.” (United Nations 22)


Given the state of the protests in Iran, tensions and violence are only getting worse each day for
innocent Iranian citizens. It’s time for the UN and its Security Council to start thinking about
ways to intervene and put an end to this brutality. It’s important that the UN acts swiftly, as any
wrong moves could further the tensions between Iran and its relationships with other countries;
the most optimal approach would simply put force on the Iranian government, rather than
dispatch any military forces (this would only worsen the conflict).


The protests following the unjust death of Mahsa Amini have been met with extreme
brutality from the Iranian government, and as protesters’ suffering only gets worse, it’s crucial
that global nations provide any type of support to the Iranian people that they can. The actions of
the Iranian government are blatantly violating UN human rights laws, and international action
has the potential to increase the safety of many Iranians’ living situations. No person should have
to live in fear that they will be killed, detained, or tortured for expressing themselves and
demanding human rights.



Works Cited

Ayu Puspitasari, R. (2022). Juridical Study of the Death of Mahsa Amini Based on
Islamic Law and International Human Rights. SINOMICS Journals, 1(5),

Bolourchi, N. (2022, December 20). Iran and the United Nations: Breaking new ground
at the Human Rights Council, is the commission for the status of women next?
Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Kabir, A. (n.d.). Feminist revolution in Iran: The need for immediate action to reduce …

Parnian, N. (2022, December 21). "yearning for a regular life": The failure of reform in
the islamic republic. Oxford Middle East Review.

Raja, I. (2023, January 12). Evin Prison: Iran’s Notorious “House of Detention.” Oxford
Middle East Review.

United Nations. (n.d.). Protect human rights. United Nations.

United Nations. (n.d.). Sustainable development goal 16: Peace, Justice and strong
institutions in I.R. Iran. United Nations.

United Nations. (n.d.). Sustainable development goal 5: Gender equality in I.R. Iran.
United Nations.

United Nations. (n.d.). Universal declaration of human rights. United Nations.