Author: Farzin Vajihi
Freedom of expression and life are fundamental rights that any legit government should respect and guard. While this is the case for many Western democratic nations, it is not in Iran. In the recent past, Iran has become a den of death for those protesting against the Islamic government regime responsible for human rights violations and the deaths of many people. The past months involving police apprehension and the death of Mahsa(Zhina) Amini, a 22-year-old woman who failed to wear the hijab, inspired many Iranians to come out and protest against the regime. Initially concentrated in the Kurdish-populated regions of the country, the protests sprouted into other corners of the country after the regime responded to protesters with force and might, killing hundreds of protesters. The targeted killings and court execution sentences of protesters through vague charges have brought critical issues about the Islamic Iranian regime to the fore.
This regime is determined to exploit legal and illegal strategies to fight against protesters flocking into the streets in protest against their dictatorial rule. The Iranian regime acted swiftly and with much force against protesters. It became apparent that the police were determined to silence people through words and force. Killings of protesters in the 21st century are not forgivable. For a government expected to protect its people, its actions of killing protesting civilians cannot be accommodated. Several people who have stood in solidarity with protesters and their course of removing the regime from power have met the full force of the government. Thousands of protesters who came out for the protests are behind bars to face criminal charges whose sentences could amount to capital punishment. Others have been summoned and arrested arbitrarily, violating their human rights and privileges. The regime has responded forcefully by using the police to disperse protesters in many of the Kurdish regions, as well as in other parts of Iran.
From September 16, 2022, when the protests began Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) estimates that the Iranian police have killed more than 500 protesters. Out of this number, an estimated 58 children have lost their lives. Among them, we can mention Sarina Esmailzadeh, Nika Shahkarami, and Kian Prifalak who were still kids. Notwithstanding the reluctance of the Iranian authorities to issue an update on the killings and arrests More than 20000 protesters are said apprehended by the police for participating in protests; an estimated 524 of this number were students.
Clearly, the Iranian regime fails the test of a legitimate government whose primary role is protecting its citizens. This regime has continued to do the opposite by using brutal force against protesters moving into the streets. The regime’s focus has been to silence its citizens from taking part in their freedom of expression, a significant component of the UN charter of which Iran is a member. Killings of protesters in Iran are a major concern for Iran’s current and future stability. Police killings during the protests convey to the population that the regime is repressive and should not be accommodated.
The continued dictatorial rule of the Iranian Islamic regime is responsible for the unprecedented support of dissent among protesters following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. Mahsa and other anti-government protesters’ deaths have increasingly contributed to public anger among Iranians. Public anger is caused not only by the killings but also by unresolved grievances of the people against the repressive government. The regime has used its powers and influence to set barbaric laws that have been exploited to punish and kill innocent protesters in the streets. Thousands have suffered at the hands of the police, while over 500 being killed since the inception of the protests in the country. The intentional killing of unarmed children and women in Iran is regrettable. It is regrettable that the government has turned its ear against the people they rule.
Besides police street protest killings against protesters, the Iranian dictatorial regime has developed vague laws targeting to enforce their killing through capital punishment. For instance, on October 29, 2022, the Islamic Revolt court in Iran sentenced eight people to death because they committed “moharebeh”, corruption, and other charges. Mohammad Reza Rahnavard, Mohsen Shekari, Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, and Mohammad Mehdi Karami, were executed related to the recent uprising in Iran. It is concerning to learn that the courts issued over 1,000 against individuals said to have participated in the recent protests. The regime is responsible for arrests against thousands of protesters across the country from September 16 to date, including children and women.
In conclusion, sufficient evidence suggests that the leadership of the Iranian regime is unmoved by the events taking place in the country. The regime insists that the protests are supported by agents from the West and should be silenced. However, this is not the blatant truth. The truth is that the Iranian regime has suppressed the freedoms and rights of its people. This government has taken advantage of the Sharia law to target women, children, and vulnerable society members. Often, these vulnerable groups have suffered. As the protests continue to be staged in almost every corner of the world, the Iranian regime should consider doing what is best for the country-and step down from power.