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Joint statement of 162 regional and international organizations:: We Stand in Solidarity with Iranian Women and Protesters

Thursday 6 October 2022, by siawi3


6.10.22 20:16 (1 hour ago)

Joint statement of 162 regional and international organizations:
We Stand in Solidarity with Iranian Women and Protesters

We, undersigned feminist and human rights organizations stand in solidarity with the courageous women in Iran who have taken to the streets to peacefully protest the death-in-custody of Mahsa Amini and to demand their bodily rights.

We also express our profound sympathy to the families of the incredible Iranian protesters who have lost their lives to the ongoing brutal police crackdown in response to peaceful demonstrations. We urge all feminists and women human rights defenders, their organizations in different countries and particularly in the MENA region, to stand in solidarity with Iranian women and amplify their voices, through all means possible, especially now that Iran’s government has severely limited internet access across the country.

The weeks have witnessed unprecedented scenes of protesting in Iran. For the past four decades, the Iranian government has violently imposed mandatory hijab and other laws to limit women’s social and economic participation in society and force them out of the public space. Yet, despite violent crackdowns against women who have consistently and peacefully expressed demands for change, we are now witness to the Kurdish motto of “Women, Life, Freedom!” being chanted by Iranians across the country.

Protests broke out in Iran following the September 16 death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a 22-year-old woman, in police custody three days after she was arrested by “morality” police for allegedly wearing her headscarf loosely. Mahsa was on a family trip to Tehran, but within a few hours of going out with her brother, she was in a coma on a hospital bed due to sustained brain injury and never recovered. Despite threats by intelligence forces for a quick burial in silence, Mahsa’s family refused to succumb and took her body to Saqqez, her hometown. Women at her funeral took off their headscarves and widespread protests in Kurdistan province were ignited. This collective mourning of a life lost so soon and so unjustly, escalated into countrywide protests with women at the forefront of every demonstration.

In recent months, Iran’s government has ramped up arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment of civil society activists, especially women’s movement activists, in a blatant attempt to silence those who speak up against systematic discrimination and repression. At the same time, we have witnessed increased violence from the so-called “morality” police patrols toward women. The case of Sepideh Rashnou from July of this year was a vivid example of these often violent encounters. Sepideh was arrested soon after her verbal argument on a bus with a mandatory hijab enforcer went viral. Sepideh was violently arrested, kept in solitary confinement for weeks, and released after she had to make a forced televised confession where she clearly had a bruised face and was in poor health.

Iran’s recent protests are referred to as a feminist revolution. Young, fearless women in the streets are taking off their headscarves and setting them on fire right in front of massive line-ups of riot police forces and demanding freedom. These protests have now gone beyond all divides, and men in large numbers are supporting these fierce women. Even in small cities with more traditional beliefs, everyone is chanting “Women, Life, Freedom!”

Many women are sharing videos of themselves cutting their hair to protest Mahsa’s killing. Several female Iranian artists and celebrities forced to comply with mandatory hijab have joined the movement by posting videos in which they take off their hijab despite the repercussions that this might have on their careers. Celebrities and athletes are among others who are supporting Iran’s first-ever feminist revolution by stepping down from their sports teams or supporting protestors in interviews.

As the protests continue, the government has escalated its massive crackdown and scores of women human rights defenders, journalists, students, human rights lawyers, and ordinary protestors have been arrested. Based on recent reports from human rights groups, over 100 protesters have been killed by security forces. The government has also imposed another internet blackout to block people’s access to social networks and messaging apps to suppress the protests. This is similar to the pattern used in the 2019 uprisings, which blocked communication in social networks and messaging apps to stop people from sharing images from protests and the violent and bloody police crackdowns. However, the voice of women and feminist groups are amplified by their sisters and peers in many countries. They have stood up in solidarity by organizing protests and publishing videos supporting the movement in Iran.

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Iranian women who are protesting the unjust killing of Mahsa Amini and who are demanding democracy as well as rights to bodily autonomy and fundamental freedoms all over Iran. Furthermore, we urge our feminist sisters in international organizations and regional groups to show their solidarity in any way possible.

We urge UN Human Rights Council to condemn the violent actions of the Iranian government against women and hold them accountable for the suppression and killing of protesters.

We urge UN member states to support calls for a UN led investigative mechanism on Iran through the adoption of a resolution during an urgent session of the ongoing 51st regular session of Human Rights Council.

We urge the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls, the Special Rapporteur on Elimination of Violence against Women, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the Special Rapporteur on Peaceful Assembly and other UN mandate holders to investigate and report on the systematic violation of the rights of Iranian women and protesters by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

UN and member states should work with the government of Turkey and Kurdistan Regional Government to ease border crossing restrictions for those rights defenders fleeing to safety and work to ensure the safety of HRDs in their respective countries. Governments and the UN should facilitate and expedite refugee status and repatriation processes of Iranian HRD and especially WHRDs in neighbouring countries who are at risk of extrajudicial retaliation by Iranian authorities.

We urge the governments of countries with diplomatic ties to Iran, especially Global South and non-aligned states, to summon the ambassadors of Iran and express their concerns over the violence being used against protesters and the widespread arrests of human rights defenders.

Donors should consider expanding and urgent support funding for human rights defenders, especially women human rights defenders, facing threat and risk, including fellowship and respite opportunities, that are more flexible and easy to access.

We ask international and regional human rights organizations to take a stance on the recent events in Iran, to follow up on the situation of those detained, press for their release, and demand that Iranian authorities ensure their safety and health while in detention.

We ask the journalist associations and unions to condemn the arrests and arbitrary detention of Iranian journalists in recent days, especially female journalists who have been at the forefront of reporting on recent developments.

We ask feminist groups and organizations to continue supporting Iranian women’s rights and their demands for bodily autonomy through protests, peaceful gatherings, statements, production of artwork, and other means.


Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran, US

Advancing Knowledge in Democracy and Law Initiative, Malaysia/Southeast Asia

Afghanistan Women Protesters, Afghanistan

Aliansi Perempuan Bangkit / Emergence Women Alliance Indonesia

All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Malaysia

Arab Digital Expression Foundation, Egypt – Regional Mandate

Arab Watch Coalition, MENA Region

Article 19, Global

Artistic Freedom Initiative, United States

Arts for Women Indonesia, Indonesia

Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, MENA Region

Asociación Ciudadana ACCEDER, Costa Rica

Association el-Karama, Tunisia

Association for Monitoring Gender Equality, Turkey

Association of Women Lawyers Sel & FT, Malaysia

Association Suisse pour les Droits des Femmes, Switzerland

Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates , Tunisie

Assocition d Environnement et Developpement Durable , Tunisie

AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development), Global

Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud, Mexico

Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), India-South Asia

BMMA, India

Cairo Foundation for Development and Law, Egypt

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), MENA Region

Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW), Canada

CCMW Niagara Chapter, Canada

Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, Egypt

Center for Human Rights in Iran, United States

Center for Human Rights Studies, University of Surabaya (CHRS Ubaya), Indonesia

Center for Reproductive Rights, Global

Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, Germany

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Malaysia

Channel Foundation, United States


Coalition for Sexual & Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), Indonesia

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Global

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Canada

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces, United States

Congrgacion Del Buen Pastor , Chile

CREA, Global

Culture Action Europe, Europe

Daraj Media , Lebanon

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), MENA Region

Demokratik Emekliler Sendikası (DEM-SEN) , Turkey

Deutscher Frauenring e.v, Germany

Dorothy Njemanze Foundation (DNF), Nigeria

Ecumenical Community for Contemplative Engagement

Equality Fund, Global

Equality Watch Women’s Group – Eşitlik İzleme Kadın Grubu (EŞİTİZ), Turkey

ERALGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

Erktolia, Turkey

Fe-Male Feminist Collective, Lebanon

FEDERA, Poland


Femmes et Droits Humains, Mali


Forum Tunisien pour ls Droits Economiques et Sociaux , Tunisie

Foundation Innovation Social Development, Sri Lanka

Free Women Writers, Afghanistan, USA

Fund for Congolese Women, Democratic Republic of Congo

Fundacion Justicia y Genero, Latin America


Gender and Democracy Centre, Indonesia

Gerakan Perempuan Peduli Indonesia [Indonesian Women Awareness Movement], Indonesia

Good Shepherd International Foundation, Italy

Good Shepherd Mission Hub, Malaysia

GreeneWorks, United States

Hawaa Organization for Relief and Development, Iraq

Human Rights Activists (in Iran), United States

Human Rights Sentinel, MENA Region

Human Rights Watch, Global

IFEX, Global

Indonesian Legal Aid Association for Women (APIK), Indonesian

Inkyfada/Alkhatt, Tunisie

Institute of the Third Space, Indonesia

International Alliance of Women (IAW), Global

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Global

International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP), Malaysia

Intersection Association for Rights and Freedoms, Tunisia

Iraqi Women Network, Iraq

IRIS Women Watch, Turkey

Isha Lisha- Haifa Feminist Center, Haifa

Islamic Development and Relief Agency, South Sudan

Jamaity, Tunisia

Jeunes femmes pour la démocratie , Marocco

Jurnal Sang Pemula, Malaysia

Justice for Iran, Iran-UK

Kaos GL, Turkey

Kawaakibi Foundation, Norway

KEDV, Turkey

Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centrem, Palestine

Kirmizi Biber Dernegi, Turkey

KPI-LJSP Cabang Jember , Indonesia

Kun Organization, Libya

League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI), Iran-France

Legal Dignity, Malaysia

MADRE, Global

MAJU, Malaysia

Manushya Foundation, Southeast Asia

Marta Abrantes Mendes, Marta Abrantes Mendes

MenEngage Global Alliance, Global

Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders, Mesoamerica

Miaan Group, United States

Musawah, Malaysia

Muslims for Progressive Values, United States

Mwatana for Human Rights, Yemen

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, United States

National Observatory to Defend the Civility of the State, Tunisia

No Peace Without Justice, Global

No Sanctions on Iran, United States

Noor, MENA Region

Open Society Foundations, Global

Organisation Contre la Torture en Tunisie , Tunisia

PASS Foundation- Peace for Sustainable Societies, Yemen

Passon Legal Organization, Afghanistan

Peace Track Initiative, Yemen-Canada

Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Malaysia

Persatuan Warisan Wibawa , Malaysia

Political Well-Being, Turkey

Programme Against Custodial Torture and Impunity (PACTI), India

Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), MENA Region

Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, United States

Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ), Global South

Réseau National des Jeunes Filles et Femmes Rurales du Mali ( RENAJFFERM), Mali

Rosa Women’s Association, Turkey

Rumpun Indonesia, Indonesia

Saiamak Pourzand Foundation, Iran-US

Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, Yemen

Secularism Is A Women’s Issue, Global

Sekolah Damai Indonesia (SEKODI) Bandung, Indonesia

Sisters in Islam (SIS), Malaysia

Sisters of the Good Shepherd-New York/Toronto Province, United States

Sisters of the Good Shepherd, New Zealand, Australia

Society for the Improvement of Rural People, Nigeria

Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) , Malaysia

Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa

Southern and Eastern Trade Information and Negotiations Institute, Uganda

Sukaar Welfare Organization, Pakistan

Suluh Perempuan Indonesia , Indonesia

The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), Asia-Pacific

The Association for Struggle Against Sexual Violence, Turkey

The Awakening – A Member of Men Engage Alliance Pakistan, Pakistan

The Freedom Initiative, United States

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), MENA Region

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation , Global

The Munathara Initiative, MENA Region

Turkish Council of Women, Turkey

United for Iran, Iran-US

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, United States

Väter Aktiv, Italy

Vigilance for Democracy and the Civic State, Tunisia

Virtual Activism, United States

WHRD MENA Coalition, MENA Region

Women for Human Rights, Single Women Group (WHR), Nepal

Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways, Turkey

Women’s Rights Center, Montenegro

Women’s March Malaysia, Malaysia

Women’s Council Denmark, Denmark

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Global

Yayasan Penghapusan Kekerasan Terhadap Perempuan “Mitra Perempuan” [The Foundation For Elimination of Violence Against Women “Mitra Perempuan”], Indonesia

Yayasan Perlindungan Insani Indonesia, Indonesia

Yemen Future for Media and Culture Development, Yemen