The so-called #IslamicRepublicofIran has been on a brutal, bloody war path for the last few months — ever since #Iranian citizens started taking to the streets and peacefully protesting for equal rights for women, and basic #HumanRights and freedom for all of its citizens.
#WomenLifeFreedom became a catchphrase and trending hashtag all over the world and Time Magazine named “the women of Iran” it’s Person of the Year.
But since those early days in September when the protests over the savage murder of 23 year old #MashaAmini first started, the people of Iran shifted their stance and started asking the world & those of us who have been supporting them to stop using the #IranProtests hashtag, stop referring to their movement as a protest and to start referring to it as the #IranRevolution Concerned citizens all over the world quickly obliged. #IranRevolution is never NOT trending on Twitter, with upwards of 1500 mentions per hour; and #IranProtests stopped trending months ago.
This was a BIG shift. And an important distinction. What started out as a protest against the Iranian government’s so called “morality police” arbitrarily beating women to death in the streets for not dressing the way they force them to, and against the practice itself of forcing women to wear “hijab” (a long coat past the knees and a head scarf), swiftly turned into a nationwide movement of the people demanding their freedom from the oppressive dictatorship of pseudo-religious men who took control of their government 43 years ago.
At first the government’s reaction was predictable: firing teargas and rubber bullets into the crowds of mostly very young people in their early teens to twenties to disperse them. When that didn’t work they began firing live rounds into the crowds and killing them or arbitrarily picking a few out of the crowds and beating them to death, leaving their bloodied and disfigured bodies lying in the streets as a reminder to others.
When this didn’t work and the crowds continued to get bigger, the #Khamenei government started knocking down doors of people’s homes, kidnapping the children suspected of “participating in protests”, taking them to undisclosed locations and beating them to death until their skulls were crushed in and their faces unrecognizable.
(Parenthetically to show just what a harsh and inhumane reality the people of Iran and the world at large is dealing with, the anguish for the family didn’t, doesn’t, end there; the local government doesn’t return the dead body to the family. Instead they claim they weren’t involved in the murder of said family member and don’t know where the body is, but “for a price” they can “see what they can do to find it”, forcing the families to pay exorbitant ransoms to get their children’s bodies back in order to have a proper burial and memorial. This has been going on for months and is still happening now.)
Officially over 650 young people, some as young as 10 years old, have been killed in this manner, though human rights groups estimate the number to be in the thousands at this point. The government has also targeted and killed doctors, lawyers, well-known journalists and authors, famous athletes and entertainers and anyone else suspected of being pro-equality, pro-freedom or pro-human rights.
And yet the crowds in the streets of cities all across the country continue to get bigger. And so too do the strikes, shutting down whole towns for days at a time. In response, the Iranian government started arresting people, immediately convicting them after mock trials that may only last an hour and handing out death sentences for public hangings.
Amnesty International says “all the convictions rely on forced confessions, beatings and torture”. Instead of arguing with this overtly recriminatory accusation, Iranian State media corroborates it and regularly broadcasts over radio and TV that all the defendants “have lost their rights to presumption of innocence, freedom from torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.”
This fact too marks a major turning point in the battle for Iran narrative. In the beginning the Iranian government had attempted to spin a tale to the people and the world that the marches and demonstrations were “riots” “planned and instigated by insurgents and infidels from Western nations” in an attempt to salvage solidarity with the general population. Once it became obvious to them that the people weren’t falling for it, the government has taken to a more extreme and overtly authoritarian stance, direct threats against the entire population broadcast over all state run media 24/7.
23 year old #MohsenShekari was the first Iranian publicly executed linked to the protests. He was accused of injuring a member of the government’s “Basij” (military police) and “waging war against God” ( #Moharebeh ).
Admittedly this is an absurd claim to make in modern times, reminiscent of the very reasons why “the dark ages” are called The Dark Ages. Wouldn’t one have to first show some or any kind of evidence that this “god” they speak of exists…? And then furthermore go on to prove that this god is so small minded and insecure that it actually cares if one infinitesimally small, insignificant human could hurt it’s feelings that badly before one goes killing someone? Especially in light of the fact that Shekari never spoke about or against any “gods”. Instead he was demonstrating for equality and freedom for PEOPLE, if anything a noble and godly act.
But no, the truth is that for thousands of years of human history, evil people who lust for power over others have been inventing and using various “gods” to justify barbaric and inhumane acts against their fellow humans. They throw on some silly looking costume, declare themselves “religious” in some way and out come the knives, spears, swords, guns, nooses, guillotines or what have you. It is said that religion is the opiate of the masses, but in a much larger, more profound way, religion is a fear and killing machine.
In the case of Iran, their preferred way of killing in the name of their god is to deliberately choose a large public square — more of a piazza really, where thousands of people go to shop, congregate and share meals together, string up one of their fellow citizens by a noose and publicly hang them to death in front of everybody and then leave the body dangling there as a warning to all that freedom liberty equality human rights and women’s rights are not on the agenda for them and even speaking about such things is punishable by death.
This is what they are threatening to do to internationally beloved Iranian footballer Nasr-Azadani #NasrAzadani who has also been sentenced to death by public execution. The government has already set up a construction crane used for public hangings in a public square in Isfahan to show they are serious about the charges and preparing to carry out his sentence.
In the case of 20 year old Moshen Shekari, the first to be executed, the government hung him from a crane in a prison yard in front of other guards and prisoners, for fear of compelling more intense uprisings by the citizenry. But for 23 year old Majidreza Rahnavard #MajidrezaRahnavard who was executed four days later, his was to be a public affair.
This morning two more Iranians accused of participating in demonstrations for freedom, human rights and women’s rights were executed in Iran. 21 year old karate champion #MohammadMehdiKarami and 20 year old volunteer children’s coach #SeyedMohammadHosseini were both hung to death.
Thus far 41 more protesters have received death sentences, according to statements from Iranian officials. Among those are THREE CHILDREN, who have all been accused of… wait for it…. “corruption on Earth.”
You read that right. The occupying forces of bearded little men cosplaying mullahs, ayatollahs and clerics who currently control the government and resources of Iran against the will of the country’s 85 million people are now sentencing children to the death penalty for “corruption on earth”.
Only a non-democratically elected group of fascist hard-liners could get away with proposing or even uttering such a ridiculously childish and inane charge. For if we weren’t discussing something very real, horrific and life threatening to real people, we’d be wetting ourselves laughing from the idea that there are those who can mention this phrase with a straight face and not burst into laughter themselves.
Clearly MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE by the international community and each and every one of us caring compassionate and humane citizens of the world if we want to sleep at night knowing we weren’t sitting back doing nothing while this barbaric treachery was transpiring.
For democratic or even non-democratic but caring nations all over the world, the actions are simple. A mere sampling of actions they can take TODAY are: immediately deport all Iranian nationals who are in their country working in the capacity of diplomats and close down the Iranian embassies in their country until the Iranian People’s Revolution is successful and completed, deport all Iranians who are in their country working on behalf of lobbying for the government of Iran or any other Iranian industry, levy heavy sanctions against these individuals preventing them from doing business or banking in their country or anything else, boycott all Iranian goods from being imported into their countries, and cut off all exports of goods into their country, issue strongly worded, uncompromising declarations of support for the people of Iran and their right to basic human rights, and condemnations of the current government and its actions against its people, immediately cut the Iranian government off from accessing all international banking and credit institutions, and perhaps most importantly issue a United Nations declaration of R2P (Right to Protection) which guarantees that all member states act quickly and collectively under the authority of the Security Council to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, to help to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
And this is just a start.
For the average citizen of earth, no matter what country you live in, who wants to support the Iranian people, go online and look for petitions that are asking your country and it’s leaders to take the above actions; email and write letters to your elected officials from the top down telling them you are expecting them to officially and publicly speak out and take more decisive actions to support and defend the Iranian people’s democratic revolution. Then share those petitions with your friends and on Social.
The United States government for example hasn’t done much of anything yet in this regard. There are plenty of Iran government and industry lobbyists living cushy lives in Washington D.C., as well as plenty of journalists and academic apologists for the Iran regime. Outing, deporting and sanctioning them would be a damn good start. But the US government needs to know that we the people actually care about this incredibly historic event and the Iranian people.
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SHARE IT. A Tweet, an article, a news item or sound byte, an inspiring, moving or disturbing meme or photo…. Every time you see or read something about the struggle of the Iranian people and their battle for freedom and equal rights in this courageous people’s movement of their’s, PASS IT ON. Share it. Don’t let it stop with you. Together we can ALL help the people of Iran break the chains of oppression and tyranny and rise up to join us in becoming a free people. They’re counting on us.
— Ed Hale